Battling Anxiety

Originally, my idea was to discuss diversity in characters today. I was inspired by the ongoing crusades of a friend of mine, but I found myself floundering in the worst way this weekend. So, for now, I am tabling that discussion or mine, in lieu of discussing something more serious to me directly.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a recurring struggle with depression and anxiety. I go to therapy, and I make no attempt to hide that fact. I have more good days than bad ones, but I still go. I’m still working on making sure that I can handle even the worst days without completely falling apart, especially on the days when I struggle and there was no clear stressor or trigger.

Admittedly, my day job and the stress it can convey is often my trigger, and I’ve learned to cope with that the best I can. There are some things you cannot avoid, and I have to expend the willpower and energy to get through those stresses. It takes more than I’d like to admit, but I get through the work day, and I get my work done. That is always my first priority.

However, that doesn’t mean that my day job is the only thing that can trigger me. I wish I knew all those little things in order to properly avoid them, but I think it’s been building again in the back of my mind. Little fleeting thoughts that I ignore because I know they aren’t true, but slowly, the one or two strays have become an arsenal.

“Call out of your game with your friends. They won’t care if you’re not there.”

“Why are you doing this? No one is going to read it.”

“Don’t wear that in public. People will see how disgusting you are.”

I know I’m projecting these thoughts, and I’ve not had anyone ever tell me any of them, but over time, my brain just wants to shut down. So, I spent yesterday just trying to bring myself back up to where I need to be. Partly because I have to go to work, and I have to be able to focus, but also because I deserve better. The negative thoughts that sprout in my head are not indicative of the people around me, and I need to move forward to try and remind myself that the next day, and the next. It’s hard, but I can’t let myself wallow. It doesn’t get better if I do that.

I’m not posting this for a pity party. Those don’t help me. I wanted to say this in case there is someone else out there, anyone else that needs to see that they aren’t alone. Because dealing with anxiety, dealing with depression, it’s exhausting, and it will alienate you. And sometimes, knowing that someone that you might not even know suffers and is working through it, it can help. I know it helps every time I read something from Wil Wheaton. I’m just trying to pay it forward.