“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton
I think we all know what it’s like to be stressed, anxious, and depressed. Maybe not at the same time, but we have all experienced those feelings at some point or another. For some of us those feelings are a more constant companion and less of a visitor. The problem with these emotions is that very few of us know how to best deal with them. I certainly do not and I would like to share with you all my story and my struggles.
If I had to pick a moment – or the starting moment where I first felt depressed I think I would have to go back a long time now. Back to when I was real young and it was just my mom and I. No one likes to feel helpless especially when it comes to our family. So while I was growing up and I had to watch my mother in pain and in the hospital knowing there was nothing I could do, that weighed on me. It has weighed on me my entire life. So while I was in grade school periodically I would just feel down all the time. I would be stricken by this unexplainable sadness and sense of despair that looking back now I realize was my first experience with depression. That sense of hopelessness that grips you by the heart and holds you hostage to yourself. Given how young I was there was no chance I could have known what I was experiencing and there was no way I could have gone to anyone to ask for help because I didn’t even know what to ask. In a way I would say that I have gotten better with depression and handling it, but honestly it’s not true. There are periods now where I am just struck by depression most of the time there is no real reason for it asides from everyday problems, and every now and then there will be a big catastrophe which will cause me to be depressed more reasonably. Such as the death of family members, or if my mom has to deal with a particularly nasty kidney stone or other illness. Things that will cause normal people to feel sad and depressed. But most of the time I feel down it has nothing to do with what is going on around me. It’s just that black hand around my heart, tightening its grip once again just to remind me that it’s still there, and that I am not free of its clutches.
As for stress we all know what stress is, as we all have stressors in our lives. But many of us have ways of handling stress that help us cope with it so as to avoid having stress begin to cause health problems. For me, I like to listen to music, draw, read, and write. For as long as I can remember I have been crutching on those four things to get me through the stresses of life. The pain of feeling helpless that has been with me most of my life. Those four things have been my best friends as they’ve always been there for me. With that said, however, I must mention that there are people with whom I am able to talk to when I am feeling stressed, but sometimes they just don’t help, and that is not their fault. Because sometimes we encounter so much stress that our normal methods of coping don’t work, and all that stress starts to pile on one after the other until the weight gets to be much to bear. I’ve experienced that a number of times in my life where my coping methods have failed me, but I’ve generally just waited things out and they have fixed themselves. I’m at a point now where I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Over the course of 2012, 2013, and 2014 I have lost a family member each year, and I feel that the stress of those three deaths have begun to finally take their collective toll on me. With the added stress of college, and the huge life choices I have to make, that I have started to question, my health has started getting affected. Over the past few months I am so anxious and stressed over the decisions in school that I’ve made that it has begun to be the focus of my thoughts every moment of every day.
As of last week I have begun experiencing constant chest pain, and I went to get it checked out, because you don’t mess around with heart pain. The Doctor ran an EKG on me and informed me that everything was normal and after talking to me for a while informed me that I was more than likely experiencing anxiety attacks and that was the source of my chest pain. Which honestly makes sense given the amount of stress I have been under recently. I think last week was just too much for me given that it would have been my Grandfather’s Birthday on Wednesday and my Great Grandfather’s Birthday on Thursday, I think that combined with everything else just hit me harder than anything I could deal with. So now stuck with what to do. I am stressed beyond anything I have ever dealt with before, I am dealing with an anxiety attack that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, and I am dealing with the general depression of a grief that does not seem to be getting any easier. To be honest with you all, I have no idea what to do.
I understand that I cannot continue on like I am currently for an extended period of time. I understand that if I were to do that it would wear me down and my health would only get worse. So the question that is posed to be is what do I do? I would love to say that I knew the answer to that question to maybe help you all out with your own problems. But the truth is I don’t know, and for me all I can do is take things one minute at a time. Not one day at a time – no I have to take things one minute at a time because for me as it stands right now that is the only way I will continue go on.