Open Letter to the Depressed and Anxious, or Both
Letting those who are depressed and anxious know that they aren't alone in the phrases repeated to us.
"You'll be fine." "Just be happy." "Do something that makes you feel happy." "It's only a phase. We all have rough times. You'll get over it." "You do this just for attention." These things are constantly repeated tirelessly to people who are exhausted by only getting out of bed. Shoved down the throat of someone who feels like they're drowning even though they aren't near a single body of water. Repeated to people who are dying to do the things they love but don't see the point in doing so. Words that are drilled into someone who is crying out for help but is seemingly ignored. These phrases are fed to people who may be considering committing suicide because they feel like they don't matter and physically hurt from loneliness and hurt. Phrases said to those with depression.
"Just suck it." "What are you so worried about?" "Why are you so worried and freaked out about something you can't control?" "Just calm down." A mantra of phrases given to people who begin to shake and feel nauseated at the thought of leaving the safe haven that is home or leaving home without the only person who makes you feel comfortable in scary situations and heaven forbid that person leaves you because of these feelings. Those who are terrified at the thought of doing simple things in fear they might mess up and embarrass themselves then losing sleep replaying the entire scene over and over around four hundred times thinking, "How stupid am I?" or "How could I have messed up something so simple?" or "They probably hate me now." Repeatedly told to people who have regular panic attacks in public or private when attempting or even thinking about doing "normal" adult everyday tasks like going to the bank, ordering food at a restaurant or even canceling plans with a friend because the feelings are too overwhelming. Phrases said to those with a disorder on the wide spectrum that is anxiety.
Depression is like feeling as if there is no point in doing anything or even living in some cases. Anxiety is like needing to get everything done right now so that nothing bad happens. When these two conditions collide inside of one mind is nowhere near a yin and yang balance of light and dark. Instead, it's a war; two demons playing a sadistic game of tug o' war. It's a constant and draining war that can take its toll on anyone including myself, which it has. Just hearing people say these things to those who didn't choose to have these illnesses and are struggling to cope and live every day as a happy individual makes me visibly upset and angry. These illnesses were not a choice, but it is something we have to face every day. Some days are easier than others, and it's a comforting feeling like seeing an old friend for the first time in years. Other days are harder, especially after the easier days, like suddenly coming face-to-face with a mountain lion on a relaxing hike. But just because there are easier days doesn't mean it has disappeared even if it seems like it has.
I write this to hopefully break a stigma that people with these illnesses can simply just stop if a family member, significant other, or a friend tells them that it's not that bad, just to be happy, or anything that I had mentioned earlier. I write this to help people relate to your loved ones who are struggling and hopefully coping or recovering from these tough feelings. These feeling are hard, but it's okay to feel like this. There is help out there, and it's possible to get through it. I write this to let people know that sometimes all we need is support and understanding that the way we act isn't a direct correlation to the people we're around. The feelings get overwhelming or feel like a burden to people with our feelings. Just please be patient with people. Finally, I write this for people to relate with my rough and direct open letter, and know you aren't alone because all of these phrases I wrote here are ones that were said to me more times than I can count.