As I am sitting here reading “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle I wanted to share this excerpt from her book that touches on depression and anxiety.
When I began recovery, I thought that my problem was that I ate, drank, and drugged too much. I learned that overeating, drinking, and drugging were actually not my problems: they were my ineffective solutions. My actual problems are clinical depression and anxiety. Being both depressed and anxious is a bit like being Eeyore and Tigger at the same time. It’s like always lying a little too low and a little too high. It’s always struggling to be at the level where life happens, which is here and now.
Depression and anxiety are not feelings. Feelings return to myself. Depression and anxiety are body snatchers that suck me out of myself so that I appear to be there but I’m really gone. Other people can still see me, but no one can feel me anymore—–including me. For me, the tragedy of mental illness is not that I’m sad but that I’m not anything. Mental illness makes me miss my own life.
Depression, for me, is forgetting, an erasing, a slow fade into nothingness. It is like I run out of Glennon, and there is nothing left but panic that I am gone forever this time. Depression takes all my vibrant colors and bashes them together until I am gray, gray, gray. Eventually, I get too low to operate, but as I begin to fade, I can usually still accomplish small things: do the dishes, take the kids to school, smile when it seems called for. It’s just that it’s all forced. I am acting instead of responding because I have forgotten the point. Perhaps this is why so many depressed people become artists, to reclaim the power of answering the question: What is the point? We are clawing at the ground with pen and paper while drowning in quicksand.
If depression feels like sinking below, anxiety is a shaky hovering above. Right now, as I write this, I am in the middle of an anxious period that has lasted a few weeks. I know I’m floating into anxiety when I find myself obsessing. Obsessing over the next speech, the kids, the house, my marriage, my body, my hair. Anxiety is feeling terrified about my lack of control over anything, and obsessing is my antidote. Writing is clawing the ground when I’m hovering too high.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Glennon explains this so effortlessly and hit that hammer on the nail with how I have felt in the past around depression and anxiety. So let me real it has been a while since I haven’t completed a full book. You know the let’s grab this book its gets good, and once you put it down, you just don’t pick them back up again, and they become another decoration on your bookshelf.
This pandemic has hit us all in different ways. If I am being honest it feels more challenging now than we actually were in the heart of it all. Baby Momma Fit zoom personal training kept me sane during the pandemic, and when she mentioned a book club I joined, and I am grateful, I said yes because the first book has so many wow factors; however, this chapter was the biggest for me. If you have not already done so, I suggest you give it a read, I mean the worst that can happen is you learn a thing or two about life, and isn’t that what we should always strive for.