Anxiety & Depression: My Month Of Darkness (A Guide For Understanding Mental Illness)

Over the past few months, since opening up about my transition things have been better than they have been in years. I felt unstoppable. I felt like nothing was ever going to bring me down again. But then, reality hit me so fast I didn’t even see it coming. Darkness was upon me and it seems darker than the last time. Now that I have helped create some amazing things I feel like I’m letting people down by allowing anxiety and depression to control me once more and I am doing everything I can to crawl out of this dark place.

After everything I have accomplished lately I feel more determined than ever to not let myself remain in this state. It has been a downward spiral over this past month.  This spiral is mostly caused by my lack of money which is the result of not being able to work as much. The thing that people who don’t experience these mental illnesses fail to understand is just how much it can cripple a person. A lot of these people who don’t understand hear this and just see it as an excuse. So many people close to me have made this month of darkness a lot worse by trivializing the suffering I am experiencing. Telling someone with depression and anxiety to just push it aside will most likely send them deeper into the illness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 6.22.29 AMWhen trying to care for someone going through this, it is important to remember that they need encouragement and understanding, not stern advice or tough love. It may all seem like a lame excuse to be lazy but rest assured it most certainly is not. Coming from someone who has experienced it before and is going through it again, I promise that it feels like an excuse to those suffering from it as well. Now that I am trying to help run a website, preform well with my band, continuing to make videos, and all the while trying to maintain my job, dealing with anxiety and depression has made all of that next to impossible. Just a few days ago I did something I have never done while in this darkness. I spent an entire day doing absolutely nothing. When I say this I literally mean nothing other than getting up to go to the bathroom and trying to get some food in me. Other than that I laid around wishing I could just disappear.

The frustration I feel with myself is suffering enough. I want to be able to work a job and be stable like most everyone else. The sad truth is… even going to work for more than two days in a row sends my body and mind into an indescribable fatigue from all the stress. It’s so confusing since I used to work a full time job as a manager and was kind of able to handle it. I look back at that time and wonder how in the world I ever did such a thing. This is usually the point where people start to blame my transition on all of this suffering. This also just makes it worse. The people doing this don’t realize that I was suffering even before I transitioned; only it was a different kind of suffering. Also, the anxiety and depression was still there, it just wasn’t so overwhelming that I couldn’t control it. I do admit that these things got worse after transitioning, but that’s the sacrifice that myself and a lot of other transgender people made to be ourselves in this hateful world.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 6.22.44 AMToday I wrote straight from the heart. It may be a bit of a rant, but I did it to show people who are suffering as well that they aren’t alone.  I also wanted to show those not understanding it just what mental illness can do. I am working on getting myself back on track and being my cheerful self but sometimes that’s a hard road to follow. I do my best to be there for those who need a good ear and it’s been nice having a lot of those people offering the same for me. I am so very grateful for the people involved in my life now and I am ready to get back to the task at hand, helping as many people as I can.

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