How It Feels To Live With Anxiety And Depression In Your Early 20s
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How It Feels To Live With Anxiety And Depression In Your Early 20s

All we can do is keep breathing.

How It Feels To Live With Anxiety And Depression In Your Early 20s

It feels like you're drowning. You're drowning and the one pushing you further underwater... is yourself.

"Oh, well you have a roof over your head, you should be happy!"

"Oh, well you have a boyfriend/girlfriend you should be happy!"

"Oh, well you go to school, you should be happy!"

"Should be." Belittle the nightmarish thoughts and depleting mental health because "Some people have it worse than you," or "You're 21 years old, grow up and get over it."

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for all of those things. But, do those things matter at 1 a.m. when you're crying, breathing uncontrollably, and have no idea why? Or maybe you know why. It's because you have an exam tomorrow and you have yourself convinced you're going to fail, so you panic. Or it could be that you feel like a failure if you get a bad grade, so why keep going? The staggering possibilities are endless.

It's really easy to put on a brave face in person. When you attend class, even though your heart feels so heavy it's literally causing you to drag your feet. When you join clubs and just pray that the people in the group will like you.

Or when you've just had an anxiety attack over school but, now you have to go to work. The brave face is one we all know too well.

In my case, when my doctor told me I had to go back on medication, I felt my heart crack. I remembered how it felt being taken off of the medication before I left for college. I remembered how amazing it felt to say, "I'm happy," and truly mean it.

But the stress of balancing college, a job, a social life, paying bills, all while trying to get a decent amount of sleep, just became too much. Some can handle it -- and by "it" I mean the lifestyle -- better than others. But for people like me, we can't control the stress. It's just there, following you everywhere you go.

Oh hey, the semester ended, no more classes? Now there's a 3-week break? Time to stress about next semester until next semester starts. And then keep stressing. It's a never ending stress cycle of completing a difficult task just to have another one thrown at you.

But, I'm probably just being "over-dramatic," right?

It's not easy living like this, especially in a modern society that's struggling to believe mental health is detrimental to our survival.

When you're anxious, your mind never shuts down. It's like you're on a train that never reaches a destination, or climbing a mountain with no summit. Then, the thoughts that drive you insane creep into your mind... and it's over. The attack ensues. You can't stop it, you have no choice. There's no controlling the draining ache that is anxiety.

Whether the attack lasts a minute or 10 minutes, the aftermath hardly feels better. You're weak. Your eyes burn from the tears. And you feel as if you're broken. You're a broken person.

But, while struggling with both conditions, I think I may have found a way to calm myself down and I'd like to share it with other people that feel anxious or depressed, even in the slightest.

I wrote myself a note. A note from myself in a happy state of mind. I reminded myself I am loved, I am strong, and I can't give up on myself. I told myself not to listen to the bad thoughts because the happy thoughts are more powerful. Keep the note on you at all times whether you hide it in your purse or wallet.

When it feels like an attack is coming, if you can, sit down. We know the best place for the attack would be your bedroom. But, anxiety doesn't give you a warning.

Read the note you wrote yourself and I do it while this song plays, it's reassuring.

Let it come easy.

If you're burdened by constant, heart-pounding anxiety and deeply saddening depression, the storm won't last forever. A rainbow will appear, and in reality, that won't last forever either.

Life is a balance between pain and happiness. Find the balance. Don't let the pain take over.

All that I know is I'm breathing. All we can do is keep breathing.

I'll always be rooting for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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