I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with anxiety and depression, lately. More than I ever have. Like, sometimes I’m just frozen on a couch. Might have something to do with the death of a best friend and having no clue what I’m doing with my life and a sinking feeling that I’m running out of time. But who knows! I’m not my therapist!
What I do know is if I could pick just one to deal with, I’d pick depression.
Depression is this slowing energy. There’s nothing you can do with it. You just sit in it. Sure, you can try to get yourself out of a funk by walking through nature or doing something you love. Sure. Fine. But that’s an inertia to overcome, a weight to get out under. It’s like this backpack that goes with you wherever you go, or a weighted blanket that tries to smother you and make it hard to move.
I can deal with that.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a conniving little bitch full of malicious intent.
Here’s the problem with anxiety: It makes a false promise.
“If I can just think about this long enough, if I can just do the right thing, if I can just prepare myself for what’s about to happen, I’ll be okay.”
But you’re never okay. Because life isn’t this problem to solve, and humans, those creatures that cause the most amount of anxiety, are not static variables like numbers and line items. They’re dynamic and convoluted, problematic and rarely consistent.
You can make all the plans in the world, muster all the internal fortitude, and it could all be for nothing because humans will look at your plans, stick up a middle finger, and do what they want. Because we humans do what we want.
Unless you have no clue what you want. Like me. And then you’re even more inconsistent. You become the problem that fucks up all the plans you make. And you can’t escape yourself. You’re stuck with you. Sure, humans could become overwhelming question marks, so much so that you hide away from the world. But you can’t do that to yourself.
And then come the mind-numbing skills we all learned to self obliviate — Netflix binging, mindless reading, social media sliding, sex. Oh that lovely sex.
I think if I, and maybe my other anxious friends, could simply convince ourselves that no planning or scheming will help, then maybe our minds and hearts would find rest. Maybe, if we could call anxiety a liar, then maybe we might claim some peace.
But the problem is sometimes anxiety works. Sometimes it comes through. So we trust it. Even though less than 50% of the time, it just blatantly lies. Because maybe this time will be different. This time anxiety will come through. And time is running out. And I need to find an answer. I need to make sense of what just happened. Of what will happen. And I need to make a right choice. The right choice. So maybe if I think hard enough, spin violently enough, plan thoroughly enough. I won’t make a mistake. I won’t get hurt. I’ll be spared.
But life spares no one.
And anxiety runs us into the ground like a harsh taskmaster, promising water but never giving us a drink.