Today is a bad day. I woke up and I instantly knew that today would be a bad day. What is a bad day? For me, it’s a day where anxiety and depression take over.
My bad days are different from others. Until recently, it never occurred to me that I had depression. From ‘y limited understanding, I thought of depression as someone who was constantly crying or sad. You know, the stereotypical depressed person. In my case, my depression looks different. I’m what is known as a highly functioning depressed person or persistent depressive disorder (PDD). To the outside world, I would seem just fine. I’m able to push through and go to work. What people don’t see is how long it takes me to get up, the sadness I feel, the desire to sleep that is almost unbearable, and the feeling of hopelessness.
Today’s bad day brings with it slight shaking (hello anxiety), feeling hopeless and trapped, and a general nervousness that won’t subside. It’s subtle enough to allow me to function, but loud enough to make it a challenge. My mind is racing. The thoughts that run through my mind have to do with not being good enough, trapping myself in a career that is not for me, feeling like there is no way out, and overall wanting to go home and falling asleep for days. At the same time, it feels like needing to do so much. I have a list of things that need to be done in order to “be happy.” There’s an inner voice that is judging me for being sad and for wanting to “give up.” My inner critic is shaming my inner child.
There is some disassociation to go with this. This feels like some numbness sprinkled into the shaking nervousness. Feeling like I have no control over my body. The challenge? Trying to remain fully in my body as this passes through. Another challenge? Remaining productive at work while this washes through.
Anxiety and depression look different in different people. Just because someone is able to carry through their day doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering. In the last year, I’ve learned so much about my mental health. A year ago, my answer would’ve been “of course I’m not depressed!” Today, I know that I am. I know that there will be bad days and good days. I’ve decided not to take medications for my depression, as I feel like I can deal with it at this time. Will that change? Maybe. For now, I will breathe through it.