Treading water

So, maybe 24 hours into my new blog and I’m already working on my third post. I hope this means I’m going to stick with it. Yesterday,  I was gung-ho about the idea. Today, I was productive and posted a recipe review, of sorts.

Tonight, I find my energy, while still strong, has shifted. Such is the way with my brain — optimistic for the most part, but then the darkness starts to creep in at the corners of my thought-cage, ushering in hints  of doubt, insecurity and negativity.

I read somewhere that Depression (yes, capital D) means you don’t care about things, while Anxiety (also a capital) means you care too much — so having both was pure hell. From experience, I’d have to say that this seems rather close to the mark.

Yes, I battle Depression and Anxiety. Thankfully, most days, it is the anxiety-side of things that I reside within. I only say thankfully because it means I’m only dealing with one issue at a time, not both.  Depression does rear its ugly head from time to time, but I  work very hard to keep that one under control. Unfortunately, this also means that I don’t really have a lot of excess energy to battle the anxiety as well — or certainly not to any satisfactory degree.

Now, I’m no therapist, but  I’ve seen my fair share. So, take this as you will, and do not take my word as gospel on such matters. I only speak from my own experience, in my own brain-pan. YMMV, in other words.

While the depression is held at bay and largely absent these days, it’s still a struggle to get out the front door some days. It has been like this for decades and I didn’t even realize it until more recent years. The fact that the way I function is not normal wasn’t even obvious to me until a therapist put it that bluntly. What was normal about it all was that it was a normal response to my life experiences (which I’m not prepared to share here — at least, not now). Granted, having a job that is awesome helps with this daily struggle, making it easier to get out 5 days out of 7.

My actual diagnosis? Depression, anxiety (medical, social, general), disordered eating (compulsive binge), chronic nightmares, chronic insomnia.

PTSD.

That is, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Wait, wot? I remember arguing with the therapist, That’s not possible; that’s what soldiers get! Well, no, according to her, anyone who goes through a major, traumatic event can get it. And apparently, I had that in spades. To hear the words, Your childhood was not what one would call “normal”, was a shock to say the least.

So, really, when I say I have depression and anxiety, I can say I’ve actually been diagnosed.

How does this relate to me starting a blog?  The familiar self-doubts start creeping in. Other people can just blog and have fun with it. For me, it’s a million questions and statements running around in my head. What if someone reads it and doesn’t like it? What if you get trolls? What if no one reads it? What if someone does read it?? What. If. You. Fail? You’re going to fail. You’re going to suck. You’re going to get overwhelmed/depressed and drop it. You might as well not even do this.

And on, and on, and on. It’s  the same old soundtrack on the same old broken record that has played as my theme song throughout my life. Doubts. My doubts have doubts. It’s stupid, really, but it’s my reality.

But then there’s this other part of my brain that tells me to override these doubts that threaten to throw me into inactivity. Because on top of the doubts, there is the incessant, nattering, manic part of my brain that is constantly shouting and barking at me. It sounds more like this (and forgive the capslock):

WHAT ARE YOU DOING JUST SITTING THERE? DON’T BE USELESS! DON’T LET THEM SEE YOU JUST SITTING THERE, BEING USELESS. NEED TO KEEP BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. BUSY MEANS YOU HAVE NO TIME TO DEAL WITH THE WHAT-IFS AND THE SELF-DOUBTS, BUT YOU WILL STILL THINK ABOUT THEM AND THEY’LL STILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY BUT AT LEAST ON THE OUTSIDE YOU SEEM PRODUCTIVE AND “TOGETHER” AND YOU NEED TO START DOING SOMETHING OR SOMEONE IS GOING TO THINK YOU’RE LAZY OR WORSE, THAT THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU AND OH GODS, THAT WOULD BE TH E WORST, SO GET MOVING! GET DOING THINGS! ALL THE THINGS! GO! GO! GO! NOW! NOW! NOW!…

…*gasps for air*

Often, it feels like I’m drowning.

If given a choice between depression or anxiety, I’d go with anxiety because at least I’m productive with it. Yes, there are some anxiety attacks that I’ve had that are utterly crippling, but the everyday anxiety keeps me going  (even externally). Depression just makes everything stop. But both tell lies to you.

Long-winded rambly point: I’m going ahead with this blog, no matter what those two voices say because there’s another voice in me that’s wanting to be heard. My true self. She’s battered, bruised and even broken but she’s still there and she’s still got a voice. She just has a hard time making herself heard over the other two loud-mouths.

So, if you’re still with me, great. If you were TL;DR, I’m not letting my anxiety and depression prevent me from having a blog any more. I’ve gotta be true to myself.

(I just won’t say too loudly that it’s taken me 2 hours to punch the “Publish” button on this… ahem. Oh, and the first post warned this blog might be all over the  place, I hope…?)

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