Fidgeting, nail biting, rocking back and forth, palpitating, drowning in bits and pieces and, being home to a swarm of constantly fluttering tummy-upsetting butterflies. Those are the obvious signs of having Anxiety. Before I take you through the day of someone with an Anxiety Disorder, let me make a clear demarcation between being anxious and having anxiety. Remember that nervous feeling before delivering a class speech? Or, waiting for results? You can even recall how you felt while waiting for your date to arrive at some cafe on some sunny day. Now that’s called being anxious. In contrast,
Anxiety Disorder is an umbrella term that encompasses intense nerve-wrecking emotions and their consequent physical reactions.
Now, things get tougher when you also have clinical depression along with anxiety. Either can be a consequence of the other. I developed depression first and then a panic disorder. It makes everyday difficult plus one, because,
While I am quiet outside, I am also screaming and worrying myself sick inside.
The treatments take longer too. Sometimes, the medication for one elevates the other. Consequently, all my cookies crumble together.
So with this article, let me take you through 24 hours of living with depression and panic disorder.
When the day begins…
Well, the first thing most of us do on waking up is hit that snooze button on the alarm. For a person like me, having a Depressive Anxiety Disorder, there are two alarms that ring right in the morning. Alarm one, “wake up, time for college!!” Alarm two, which is an internal one, and more of a silent plea, goes something like this: “Oh damn! I don’t want to go.
It’s so exhausting to go face people; talk to them and to just be around them.
Can I not go?”
Right there begins a string of anxious thoughts. How will I face people? What if the day is horrible? What if the professor asks me questions I respond dumbly to? I didn’t finish reading that paper, how will I survive this course?!
So, with a heavy heart and a heavier head, I step into the shower. It’s a simple, routine task. Turn on the shower, build up a lather, wash, towel dry and voila! But it’s not as simple for me. One of the first battles I have in the day, begins when I step into the bathroom.
I often feel like hurting myself, punishing myself for being the way I am.
This one may or may not be happening with every other person with this disorder. For me, however, it is difficult. Because there are about at least ten things I could use to harm myself with, right at that moment. This is basically a consequence of all the suicidal thoughts that reside in my head. What is the point of life?
I am so tired, I wish everything would just stop at once.
So, I look at a razor and there is this great urge to feel it cut through my skin. Then sometimes, when I have grown numb with all that has been happening, I self harm, just so I can feel human pain.
Self Harm is masochistic , it’s worrisome and it’s a common trait of Depressive Anxiety.
When I look into the mirror…
I wonder how could I possibly hide this sad, weak, and ill expression on my face
Most of us have been victims of some form of body or skin shaming, right? I’m no different and, thanks to anxiety, I also have developed body-image issues. We all stand in front of the mirror, checking our appearance, fixing our hair and so on. When I stand in front of the mirror, I see the tyres on my belly, and the blackheads on my face. I stretch the sleeves so that nobody accidentally catches a glimpse of the cuts on my arm. So, I put on a little eyeliner or Kajal and brush my hair well. However, there are days when I deliberately skip doing anything to my face and leave my hair greasy and boring.
I do it, just so someone notices that I’m not well and realises that I am tired of putting on happy masks everyday.
Read the part II here: