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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

Living with depression and anxiety

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When you live with depression and anxiety, the reality is that sometimes you can do all the right things and it’s still not enough.

You can be armed with a fully stocked arsenal of tools - therapy, meds, meditation, coping strategies, the knowledge of how to correct faulty thinking, self-care, healthy boundaries -

but sometimes even those are no match for depression and anxiety.

Today was one of those days for me.

I woke up and felt it.

Immediately.

The cloud of negativity swirled above me.

The deeply rooted self-loathing was palpable.

A heaviness had settled into its familiar place inside my chest.

I wanted to roll back over and go back to sleep.

Start over again.

But I couldn’t.

I tried to will it all away.

After all, nothing specific had caused me to wake up this way.

And that’s the thing about depression and anxiety -

sometimes there are no explanations.

I climbed out of bed, dumped out my metaphorical box of tools, and sifted through them all.

Nothing helped.

So, I plastered a fake smile on my face and got all the stuff done that needed to get done before driving my teen to school.

Then I found the strength to drag myself to the gym.

Maybe the endorphins would make things better, I thought.

But when a well-meaning fellow gym goer tried to talk to me, my final bit of resolve broke and it was all I could do to fight back tears.

Because when my depression and anxiety show up, I don’t want to be seen.

I want to pull an invisibility cloak over myself and just get through the day completely unseen.

But someone saw me.

Someone acknowledged me.

And somehow that made everything I was feeling even worse.

Because anxiety and depression can sometimes make you feel like a raw, exposed nerve;

sensitive to even the slightest breeze.

Eventually I realized that all I could do today was to be extra gentle and patient with myself.

I could not let myself believe the negative thoughts in my head.

Because depression and anxiety lie.

And I could try to hold on to hope that maybe tomorrow will be better.

And I could be honest and real - because that’s the other thing about depression and anxiety -

even though we may feel alone, there are always others out there who get it.

So, if you are someone who gets it, keep holding on.

Brighter days are ahead and you are not alone 💕

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