Addiction, Anxiety and Depression are Liars – Part Two

If you haven’t read Part I, you need to go read it first. It’s right here. (But wow! I can get wordy when I don’t post in a while so it was too long. But if you’re reading these back to back it is still too long.)

"The Sob" by David Alfaro Siqueiros taken at the MoMA in NYC

“The Sob” by David Alfaro Siqueiros taken at the MoMA in NYC

So where was I? Oh, yes, I was telling you about being plunged into a darkness unlike any I have known before. The trigger was a broken heart but it was far from the cause. It was as if someone had actually thrown a dark, heavy blanket over my head. I sort of, kind of tried to share with some friends but it wasn’t a true opening up. It was more saying I needed a break and was stressed out. When I saw this was different, I reached out and emailed a friend who I knew went through this and has learned to deal with it and is open about it. (I just didn’t think I could or should reach out to my friends because everyone has something going on and no one needs my extra drama. Reaching out to someone who I know has been there and come through it seemed like reaching out to another addict. You go to those who have gone before. And? I really don’t want to be “that” friend.) After a few emails (and trust me when I say it was one of the hardest things to do to even email) many of them with me apologizing for “bothering” her and sharing my embarrassment about being so weak, she sent me an email I needed to read at that moment.

Never feel humiliated for reaching out.  You are worth more
than you know and I’m here for you.  Promise.

Many times since then I have pulled out that email and read and re-read it to remind myself that there is someone who knows where I am.

Much like when I confessed that I don’t want to talk but wish I had a friend’s hand to hold. One of my dearest friends sent me a message with no words. It simply had a picture of her hand. In case I needed to remember that someone was there to hold my hand if I ever needed it. A reminder she cared.

Many times when it seems the darkest, I stare at that picture and pretend I have not isolated and she really is there to hold my hand.

It’s a double edge sword having many of the people who know you best and are the very closest to you live so very far away from you. It is so easy to say you need some time offline and shut down connections. But then when it gets to a point where you are drowning or feeling completely alone, it is harder to reach out. It’s an ugly cycle. You need to be alone but alone makes things worse but you hear the lies of depression and don’t feel worthy of your friends so you pull further away and it gets darker and your feelings of worthlessness grow stronger and the lies are more believable and you pull even deeper into yourself… And on and on.

There were days where the hardest thing to do (and what I considered my biggest success) was simply getting out of bed and going through the motions of the day. It kicks my other two “bad guys” into gear: addiction and anxiety. I start really wishing I could just take something, just medicate myself to wellness. But I know better. And then anxiety tells me I can’t share what I am going through because I will be judged. I will be mocked. I will lose those I love. All the while depression taps me on the shoulder with the sing-song voice mocking “I told you so! Forever alone! I told you so! Forever alone!” (Assholes!)

Remember back when I told you as a recovering addict? How I don’t have the best coping skills? I’m learning. I mean, I sought out someone to talk to and we’re working through the issues that brought me to this point. From not really dealing with the death of my mother to the nervous breakdown my former “friends” slammed me to the ground with to ways of reaching out to the people I love so they can tell me what is a lie and what is real. (That last one is the very hardest for me.)

And I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous between an “obvious” lie and reality. How can anyone not know the difference? Well, sometimes it really is hard to tell. When everything to your core shouts that you are worthless and not worthy of the friends and family you have because look at what the former “friends” you had did to you, it  feels so real.

I know the darkness will lift and the world will feel bright and light again. I know this. I just hope and pray that when it does, I haven’t pushed away everyone I love. I don’t want it to be too late. This? This is not the end of the story.

It is just the beginning.

21 Comments

  1. Oh honey, YOU ARE LOVED. I’m sorry you’re going through such a hard time right now. I’m only a phone call away, and I don’t judge. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. Nope, no judging here either. However, I am totally okay with bugging the hell out of you with copious amounts of texts and annoyingly long voicemails. Also, so glad that you used this space (and your voice) and allow yourself time to heal. To echo Melisa: YOU ARE LOVED (BIGTIME)!

  3. They’re gooder writers than me, but just know I’m glad to see you here, and no one is going anywhere. Even if you want us to. We’re belligerent like that.

  4. Yep. See? We’re here, dammit. You’re not a bother, ever. You are our friend. If I was there, I’d bring dinner because I hate cooking when I feel like that, so you shouldn’t have to cook either.

    Keep writing. Keep reaching out. There are more of us out here that want to help than you know!

  5. Jenn…I know only too well the liars that depression and anxiety are, and you my dear are a very strong and courageous woman. And I am glad to ‘know’ you, if only via USB cables and internet tubes! Hang in there and know that there are lots out here who support you…

  6. One more person here that cares. You are not alone…ever!

  7. Oh, sweetie. I hear you.

    Addiction, anxiety and depression are damn liars– and I think depression is the worst liar of all, because it tells you that you are so screwed up and worthless you SHOULD feel anxious about everything and you SHOULD medicate these feelings because they will never, ever go away and this is how you will feel the rest of your life…

    Which is the biggest lie of all.

    –From yet ANOTHER person who cares about you!

  8. I’d send you a pic of my hand, but someone beat me to it. I’d send you a pic of my arms, but that would just look really, really odd. So picture my arms, wrapping around you for the biggest hug. EVER.

  9. You jumped one of the biggest hurdles: the hiding hurdle. So easy to hide and to deny and lie to yourself and everyone else that you’re OK. Too much work to do anything else. Right?

    Bravo, pretty lady. This journey is going to suck but you’re worth fighting for. I’m here if you need me. 🙂

  10. Depression has always been my demon, but lately it’s taken a backseat to anxiety. So reading about your depression reminded me what it’s like to be plagued by it. You are not alone, and depression IS lying. Good luck!

  11. You know I am here for you. Many times I have wished that you weren’t so good at hiding your feelings, because I want to be there for you before it gets to this point. Whatever you need…call me.

  12. Oh, sweet friend. I’m sorry for what you’ve been I going thru. I’ve been in that same spot lately. Thank you for sharing the feelings I can’t even put into words.

  13. Oh Jenn I’m so glad you posted of your struggle. I can relate on every one of your issues. The biggest road block to fighting depression that sever is that it makes you shut down. You don’t want to go anywhere, talk to anyone etc. Then you realize it’s been months since one of your friends asked you to do anything, mine always heard me telling them No. Once I “told” them I think I’m really depressed they began to force me to do things. Wouldn’t take no for an answer. Kind of bitches that would show up on the step beating on the door if you tried to backout. Thank God for them. Just keep trying to push forward and keep reaching out.

  14. You are brave and strong, in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your story. And I am glad your friends showed up for you in words, pictures and comments in here.

  15. Oh, doll, do you know how much I love you? Tons and tons. xoxo

  16. You are strong, brave and amazing, and I’m so proud to be your friend.

    I’m sending you an enormous hug.

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  18. I am so sorry that life has been so heavy for you lately. Wishing you the energy and confidence to continue in this journey.

  19. Here’s the thing I have been living this nightmare for the last 16 years of my life, and truthfully probably about 5 years before my diagnosis. The darkness is a lonely place, but sometimes knowing I’m not the only one who has been or is there is a great comfort. While you may not want to talk about consider reaching out to those who get it, just so that lonely part isn’t so lonely. I <3 YOU

  20. Thank you. This has been such an eye opener for me. I struggle with depression…and understand those tendencies. Funny thing….(well, not really, but I think you will see the sarcastic humor in it)…I never GOT it when trying to work through my father’s suicide 9 years ago. The black blanket comment….I shudder…my poor, broken, addiction (alcohol) ridden dad…the loss of his Dad six weeks before must have been the blanket he couldn’t find his way out of.

    Keep fighting the good fight. xoxoxo

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