- take in a big, deep breath. square your shoulders.
- focus on the steady thrum of gravity. lie down. let it bury you, in a cheap plastic crown. and you don’t want to move, but you have to, somehow… somehow… and someday, maybe this’ll all be worth it. but for now, you just don’t give a shit…
- run, like the fate of the universe depends on you. but it’s useless. because the monsters in your head are never going to leave you.
- feel the endless friction, grating against your skin. wearing your scraped, bleeding knees to nothing.
- scream at the top of your lungs. because if they get anywhere near you they’re going to hurt you. they’re going to kill you. and you’re so focused on surviving, you forget sometimes why you even bother trying like this…
- build a ladder to the moon out of scrap metal and school glue, and somehow feel genuinely surprised when its rungs refuse to hold you.
- let your shoulders slump, and your puffy eyes slip shut. you know those images, of forests after the wildfire has passed? in this moment, i know exactly what it is to be made up of pinecones, and ash.
- crash into the pillow at 1am, after finally finishing a project. dream about goat cults, or healing, or something else completely ridiculous.
- twirl around in a cute dress. take a rose-scented bath. make yourself pancakes for breakfast, and do not feel guilty about the time you could have spent on something more productive than your own happiness. romanticize the little things in your life. pretend to be a studio ghibli protagonist. because… i mean… that’s something, isn’t it?
Anxiety and depression are very confusing, conflicting experiences. They feed off each other, and often I’m feeling depressed and anxious at the same time, but they’re also total opposite experiences, anxiety making me hyperactive and frenetic and depression making me placid and numb. And if just having one at a time was a headache, and strongly feeling both at the same time is even worse.
Being in my own brain can just feel so overwhelming, sometimes. Like every day is just one massive game of tug-of-war where a thousand screaming little children, aka my many mental health problems fight for control.
But sometimes it feels… more like those games of Would You Rather my friends and I used to play on long car rides. You know, you’d come up with two terrible, and usually mildly gross situations, and try and pick between them. (For some reason, that game always gave my anxiety—still does, to be honest.) For example, go to school, and experience crippling panic and self-hatred; spend the rest of the day burnt out and exhausted. Or stay at home all day in my room, and feel depressed and numb and dissociative all day, staring at a screen doing nothing at all, gradually becoming more and more paranoid. It’s like I can never escape it, no matter where I turn, is what I’m trying to get it.
I don’t have an easy, conclusive answer to any of this stuff. I don’t think there is one, and honestly I’m not in a great place right now—this is my first real bout of depression since I got out of therapy, and it really sucks. But I hope this blog can be a refuge from the storm raging in your mind, even if only for a couple of minutes.
Lots of love,