Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others – Jasmine Warga
Waking up each day may seem an easy task, probably the easiest you will face in the day. But when you have depression mixed in with anxiety, it can quickly become the biggest chore of them all.
You know you have to get out of bed, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it. You make yourself late to lectures. You miss appointments. You flake out on meeting your friends. People often say they understand, but your anxiety usually doubts that people really do understand. You become so wrapped up in your anxieties and negative thoughts, that you often feel as though nobody truly gets you. Nobody truly likes you. People would be better off without you.
Living with depression is hard on its own, throw anxiety into the mix and you have a whole lot more to contend with. Daily tasks become chores. You don’t even want to shower because you simply don’t see the point in taking care of yourself.
Everyone experiences depression differently. Like I experience mine due to my personality disorder (borderline personality disorder). It’s important to stress however that having a personality disorder does not mean you have a bad personality, don’t let people tell you that it does mean that! A personality disorder simply means having a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behaviour of a specified kind.
The way I experience my depression varies a lot, as does my mood. Sometimes I feel as though I’m worthless and can’t bring myself to do anything at all. On these bad days I will typically spend the day in bed and will do nothing at all. Other times I’m still feeling depressed but I will force myself to be proactive. People will typically think I’m fine on these days, but just because I’m out of the house doesn’t always mean I’m okay. And other days I’ll feel so high, I’ll feel as though nothing can bring me down. These are the days I become reckless. I’ll spend too much money. I’ll do things I maybe normally wouldn’t. I’ll be more outgoing and happy around people.
I’ve recovered a lot in these past few months, and my mood is now relatively stable and constant. My bad days are becoming rarer and rarer. I still have the odd blip, and I relapse, but that’s part in parcel of having a personality disorder.
My anxiety is still the worst of my symptoms. I’ll become anxious about doing the most basic of things like calling someone. I’ll become anxious about walking down the street. Anxiety hits when I’m travelling alone on the tube. Anxiety hits when I have to stand up and speak in a lecture. I have occasional panic attacks, but thankfully these are usually at night and I’m woken up by them. I say thankfully because they don’t usually impact my day to day life. I’ll feel a panic attack coming along during the day whilst I’m doing something, but I typically manage to calm myself down with my breathing exercises and thinking as positively as I can.
When I’m asleep however, I cannot control my breathing. I cannot control my thoughts. This is why I usually experience my panic attacks at night whilst I’m asleep. Let me tell you something, the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced is waking up and feeling as though you’re dying. You feel the coldest you’ve ever felt. You can’t stop shaking. Your mind is racing and your heart is beating faster than ever. These are my panic attacks at their worst, and the first time I experienced this I tried screaming for help and for my mum to call me an ambulance – but my body wouldn’t let me actually scream. I just had to ride it out, and thankfully I did ride it out.
I now get scared of going to sleep sometimes. I get anxious about my anxiety kicking in and having another panic attack as bad as that first one. I’ve had so many restless nights because of this, but I take sleeping tablets which usually help me get to sleep.
To conclude this piece: living with depression and anxiety is awful. It feels like a constant brick wall is being placed in front of you and you have to battle to get over it. It feels like there’s no escape – but let me tell you this, their is always an escape. Living with borderline personality disorder is tough, but I find my personal ways of dealing with it and now I’m more functional than ever.