Texts From My Anxiety and Depression
Based on past thoughts, struggles, secrets, realizations and growth.
A special thank you to fakephonetexts.com for helping me create the images for this article.
Anxiety vs. A Good Night’s Sleep
Anxiety can gnaw at you at any time, day or night. I used to have trouble sleeping because I just couldn’t shut my brain off for the night. Worries and nerves would creep under my skin as I lay awake staring at my ceiling.
Sometimes, I would worry about things that hadn’t even happened yet. I would panic over little mistakes or moments of the day prior. My mind would play all sorts of images of anything and everything that possibly go wrong in my life.
For more than a year, I was getting very little sleep. I’m not exactly sure how much because I’d only be able to sleep for chunks at a time. But each time that I woke up, I was sure that I wouldn’t be falling back asleep any time soon because of my anxiety.
The worst was when I didn’t even know what I was worried about.
Depression vs. Self-Confidence
People often confused anxiety and depression. I think that that’s because in most cases, you can’t have one without the other. That’s definitely true in my case. Sometimes, I’ll feel just fine. I won’t experience any boughts of anxiety, no signs of slight or serious depression or anything like that. But, when I begin showing signs of one, you can expect to see signs of the other shortly thereafter.
My anxieties would manifest themselves into self-deprecating thoughts. I felt like I had to be messed up to be this tightly-wound. Eventually, my depression about my anxiety became negatives thoughts about myself overall.
My own mind can be my worst enemy. Most of the time, I can be left alone with no issue. But, we all have our bad days. When depression is looming closely behind you, your mind can be your most vicious aggressor. I could keep busy by distracting myself with work or a project or something but, depression is very insistent.
For the longest time, I would let my depression tell me anything and I would believe every word. I would take the advice it was giving me . Every word had to be true because, I thought, why would I tell myself something that wasn’t true?
To me, there wasn’t any other way to think of myself. How could I think highly of myself if I had all of these terrible qualities?
Depression vs. Meeting New People
My anxiety and depression stopped me from going out on a limb and meeting new people. No matter how well an interaction went, I’d figure out some way of tearing it down. I hated introducing myself. It felt like there was no right way to say hello or engage in conversation. I was sure to say or do something dumb and be ridiculed both to my face or behind my back.
Sometimes I’d feel great about a conversation with someone but, it wouldn’t be until much later that I’d figure out a new way of making it seem like it was really a terrible disaster. How could I have been so blind to what was really happening? I can’t believe I didn’t see what a terrible job I was doing as it was happening!
Telling friends about those situations made me feel even crazier! They’d say things like, “Did we not just have the same conversation? It was fine! What’re you talking about?” They’re just not seeing what I’m seeing, is what I thought. I figured that I was simply able to see the deeper meanings behind what people said. And they were saying terrible things.
Anxiety vs. Groups of People
If I ever dared to venture out and hang out with a group of people, my anxiety would overwhelm me. It would feel like the world was closing in on me and that all of the oxygen was being drained from my lungs. I felt like we were all doomed for something awful and that I needed to get out before something happened.
Fight as I might, I’d soon be a mess in a crowd of people not only scared but humiliated at my own actions. If I felt that I may go into a panic, I’d try to ignore it. It can’t hurt you if you don’t acknowledge it. But, it never worked.
It was humiliating not to be able to function like a normal adult in a group of people. What was so wrong with me that I couldn’t handle getting together with people for something fun now and then? My anxieties began holding me back from going out with friends or trying new things. I did anything I could to keep my panic attacks at bay. If that meant isolating myself, so be it.
Anxiety vs. Everyday Life
What could go wrong? I’m at home, I’m not exposing myself to a big group of people or trying anything new or meeting new friends. I should be safe, right?
And then my anxiety would attack me. Why, though? Nothing was even happening! I’d start having panic attacks without even knowing what was causing it. I’d never felt more out of control of my own mind and body in my entire life. When you don’t know what’s triggering you, that’s truly terrifying. I had no safe place. There was no way to escape my mind which seemed determined to make my life a living hell.
I was fighting an aggressor that I couldn’t see. I had no signs when it was coming and I had no way of defending myself. I can’t believe this is my life, I thought.
Anxiety and Depression: the Dynamic Duo
I was no longer in control of myself. My mind and all of the thoughts within belonged to my anxiety and my depression. Everything I said or did I had to run by them first. They dictated where I went, who I saw, who I talked to, what I said and what I did.
No longer did I fight what I was being told by them. I took all that they told me to heart. Pretty soon, it’s like I was someone other than myself. I didn’t have the energy to try to be myself anymore. My body was exhausted from the lack of sleep. I couldn’t enjoy anything because I didn’t feel I deserved to. My mind just wouldn’t shut up and there was nothing I could do to stop it from yelling at me.
To put it simply: I was tired.
For those around me, I was unrecognizable. My entire personality had shifted into something else completely. I was unhappy with who I was and what I had let my own mind get away with. Finally, I spoke up. I couldn’t handle my demons alone and I knew I needed help. I sought help from my family doctor and began treating my anxiety and my depression through medications and daily exercises. Soon, I was beginning to feel more balanced.
The Conversation Has Finally Come to a Close.