A new Depressing experience, without Anxiety

*This post may contain some self-harm triggers*

It’s been a crazy semester trying to balance my physical health, mental health, work, and school.

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how it seemed that the Welbutrin I had been taking was spiking my heart rate. Last time I wrote about that experience, I was weening myself off of it, and onto Lexapro.

Well, let me give you an update.

I weened completely off of the Welbutrin, and it seemed to be fine. My heart rate steadily decreased to a little bit lower when it was at a resting rate, but still not great. However, high heart rates run in my family, so it is not a huge concern that meds are still causing it. Going off of the Welbutrin did make an impact; for that, I am thankful.

Letting my body get used to the Lexapro was quite the adventure. It gave me extreme mood swings where I would either be so extremely energized that I couldn’t sit still or stop talking, or I’d crash and completely fall asleep for the night (at like 6pm). It made it very difficult to focus on school work at either time.

I had a follow up with my doctor and I told her what was happening with the mood swings, but otherwise it was alright. We decided to continue and see if my body normalized it into my system.

About two weeks ago was when I finally realized its effects. My biggest victory with the successful anxiety medication was that I was able to finally speak up in class and contribute to the conversation, without feeling my heart pounding in the chest, sweat beading on my body, or words travelling in a million different directions as I tried to organize my thoughts. It was a huge small accomplishment, and it felt so good!

However, there was something that changed recently.
Maybe it was switch that had just turned off; maybe the power went out.
Maybe it was a cliff that I fell off and hit the bottom of the canyon, leaving me gasping for air because the wind was knocked out of me.
Maybe it was a stranger watching me as I went throughout my days. Myself unaware, only to find out it was someone I knew all along.

Depression came knocking, and it has been relentless.

There was no warning, no known triggers, no idea where it originated. It hit me like I ran straight into a brick wall. It’s like that family member that never tells you when they are visiting, but just shows up and expects you to drop everything and cater to their needs.

One new development from the last time I hit a valley like this has been the anxiety portion. Last time, I had Anxiety to occupy some of Depression’s demands, but this time I’m medicated so that Anxiety doesn’t visit. Last time, I had Anxiety to keep me stressed just enough to overcome the lack of motivation to be able to get something turned in for homework. This time, Anxiety isn’t staying while Depression is staying. No, it hasn’t reared its little head at all. This time, I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. I don’t feel like taking a shower. I don’t feel capable of changing my clothes. I cannot even look and read on my computer screen because that is too much work in itself.

And beyond all of that, persistent graphic images keep invading my mind. Images of myself slicing down my arms and legs, watching the blood continuously flow from my body reoccurs in my mind, relentlessly.
I’m getting impulses just to hide places so no one can find me so I can just hide from everything around me.
I had an instance yesterday when I was in the campus’s library with my group for a class, and I went downstairs to use the bathroom. There was no one when I was in there, and the images came back, but in that setting. I was getting impulses and images to self-harm before I went back upstairs to work on a project, crafting up ways that it would be concealed.

I’m terrified of being alone.

If you’re religious, please pray for me, and for the many others that experience this everyday, or other variations of it. Please pray for the many that suffer from such debilitating mental illnesses. When it is persistent, uncontrollable, and there is literally nothing that motivates you, it’s hard to be and feel like you’re a functioning member of society…and you don’t even care that you’re not.

With all the negativity aside, I have finally begun exposing some of what is happening to me to those close to me, and it has been exactly what I need. Those around me know I need some decisions made for me in times like this, and they know just the ways to make me feel better, even if it is for a little bit. It’s great having a psychology major as a roommate and one of my best friends because she knows what’s helpful in the psychology aspect, but also is able to cater it to what I personally need because she knows me. Another one of my best friends sent me lots of pictures of dogs throughout the day because he knew it would brighten my mood just a little bit more every time. I had people tell me they were ready to drop everything to come “rescue” me and do something to keep me distracted, because they know that it is helpful for me to keep my thoughts on something else.

I encourage all of you who may be going through something similar to find those coping skills for yourself, and find what works to keep you going every day. I encourage you to find those people in your life that know you and know what works for you and can help when they see those signs.

Keep fighting against the darkness with me, and I’ll keep fighting with you.

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“I don’t know”

That’s my go-to phrase. It’s the easy way out.

I was supposed to try to catch myself this week when I say it, but I completely forgot until right now…when I said it.

And it was exactly for that reason. Because I didn’t want to take the time to think about what I was feeling because that means facing it. That means taking the time to dig up some of that real self and see what’s there.

And that’s terrifying.


I’ve posted three times tonight, but oh well. Apparently I needed it.

I’m a lawn of emotion

One of my biggest struggles is crying.

I don’t like showing emotion because I feel like emotion is weakness. I’m still not sure where this exactly stemmed from, but that’s just how I’ve lived for a long time. Why do we see it as a negative thing? Because I know I’m not the only one who views it as that.

We don’t like feeling vulnerable. I especially don’t. I’ve gotten so good at stuffing down my tears over the years that when I finally give in and let myself, I have a panic attack because my body doesn’t know what’s happening.

So yeah. It’s been difficult to view crying as a form of release and relief. Maybe if I try to see it in my two selves, I can organize it better (I’m a mental processor…I have to organize everything before I do anything. This can be both a good or bad thing).

I see my two selves in two different layers. Have you ever seen those diagrams or pictures of grass and dirt?

Well that’s what I mean, in case you didn’t.

My real self is the dirt; it has the most substance and grounding in who I am. My ideal self is the grass; it lays nicely on top and can grow depending on its environment. The roots grow down, sometimes choking the dirt, fighting it to stay hidden underneath of it. The grass has to be full and thick to show that its thriving and mighty.

However,

The grass is actually that fake grass you can unroll unto your lawn. It can be unearthed easily if not left for a long time, but it has been. It’s actually started to plant more roots. That’s why this process of stripping my ideal self away is so difficult.

I need to start mowing my yard, for starters.

And then mow it again.

And probably again.

Then maybe I’ll take a shovel to it.

Ideal vs. Real

I’m discovering that one of my biggest issues is trying to act out an ideal self–or what I believe that should look like. However, in reality, I’m someone so different. I’m trying to explore what makes up each aspect of the ideal and the real.

———–

My ideal self doesn’t show emotion (other than anger, of course) because emotion is weakness. Showing emotion leads to vulnerability. Vulnerability leads to defeat. Even by herself, it’s not worth her time. Complacent is key.

My ideal self always keeps her head up. This plays into the lack of emotion. She has to appear strong and mature.

My ideal self may have many opinions, but it’s best not to speak them. Keeping the peace is greater than words.

———–

My real self feels pain, heartache, sadness, frustration, happiness, confusion, guilt, anger, regret, disappointment, shock, and so many more. And she wants to be able to express it.

My real self has many opinions and wants to speak her mind. She wants her ideas and thoughts to be heard.

My real self isn’t satisfied with complacency; she wants to experience and feel the highs and lows of each day, experience, and the emotions that follow.

My real self wants to cry so she can release built up stress.

———–

What I have noticed is that my ideal self is solely centered around emotion, and my desire to hide it, while I actually want to express it. But I don’t know how.

We had a guest speaker from a hospice program a few weeks back and she gave us a sheet that explained the two types of grieves. There is the intuitive (feeler/emotion) and the instrumental (thought/rational). While I read it I thought I was an intuitive griever who was trying to live instrumentally. I flipped over the page and that’s what it described. This happens when someone is unable to express their grieving style due to family or jobs.

I think this plays a huge part in my ideal self vs. my real self.