Um, hi... I'm new here...: I have dealt... - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support

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Um, hi... I'm new here...

Looking_for_Hope profile image
Looking_for_Hope

I have dealt with anxiety and depression for four years now. People are always telling me that it gets easier, and that I have nothing to be sad or anxious about. I don't want to be so down that I beat myself up. That I can barely get out of bed in the morning. That I question every single thing I do. I make myself sick with how often I stress about making sure I'm "happy" enough to show myself in front of others. I hate being so anxious that I cancel all of my plans because the thought of being surrounded by strangers scares me so badly I cry in the bathroom for hours. I hate crying at every little thing, and feeling like I am such a burden that I wish the people who knew me, would just pretend they didn't. I've given up on the hope of ever being happy. I've given up on everything, my dreams, my future. It's so hard when you see your siblings prosper in everything you've tried and to hear the praises of your parents because they did it. Meanwhile, you've tried time and time again, and it still doesn't matter. You've forgotten what it's like to hear your name being used for something happy instead of "the sad one." How do people make it to the silver lining? How do people keep their masks up all day?

15 Replies

Hi Looking_for_Hope,

I am so sorry that you have been suffering so badly for so long. Anxiety is just so unfair. We know that it isn't true and at the same time we cannot seem to believe that it isn't true. Your birthright is to love yourself. You deserve love from yourself. You deserve to love yourself. You deserve to be kind to yourself. Anxiety clouds out the ability to love yourself. But, behind the clouds you know that you are OK. You know that you are a good and worthy person just for being you. Your online name is Looking for Hope. You don't have very far to look. Just behind the anxiety curtain is the beautiful, lovely you that is full of hope, hope for now and for the future.

Lots of love,

Hi,

Thank you for the kind words. It helps and means a lot.

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Hello and so sorry to hear about the difficuties you are experiencing. I, too, have had to deal with anxiety and episodes of depression for most of my life ( I am 60 now), so I want to reassure that there is always hope (at any age) and, yes, it is possible to lead a fulfilling and happy life, so please don't ever think this is not attainable. We all compare ourselves to others but it's not helpful, because there will always be people who 'appear' more or less successful (I say 'appear' because until we walk a mile in someone else's shoes we have no idea what they are feeling and experiencing). You are unique, with unique talents and abilities, and that's what makes you special and important. I don't think it's about wearing a mask and hiding from the world. It's about accepting yourself and being proud of who you are, including any 'imperfections'. I do think, also, that it's about reflecting on all aspects of your life and, if you are not happy with something, changing what you do and how you do it. Not all at once, but in bite sized chunks. Medication may or may not help you, so please consult your doctor, also consider counselling and anything else which may assist e.g. yoga. Give it a go, if it doesn't work for you, nothing has been lost. Most of all show yourself some tender loving care and compassion. You're a good person and you deserve better, so don't settle for anything less. Take care,

Looking_for_Hope profile image
Looking_for_Hope in reply to Hidden

Thank you

Welcome to healthunlocked! Please remember you are not alone ❤️ I know how you feel 100% but remember it does get better I know it’s hard to see that right now but I can promise you it does!

Hello and welcome to the group!🙂

I’m not the best at providing advice for anxiety related disorders even though I suffer from it. I have some posts that wouldn’t hurt for you to read to try and draw some inspiration and maybe learn something that will help you look at things differently.

I always tell people not to hesitate reaching out to myself or others publicly or privately. My notifications don’t always work but I try and check the app throughout the day especially if I’m worried about someone.

To me, however, you sound like you need to try and discover who you are outside of your family. I’m the third of five kids. By the time I got through school and sports and everything I literally just felt like “Last Name, Another One.”

All of the compliments I received for accomplishments ended in “like your brothers.” The few I received on my appearance ended in “like your father.”

I never felt like my own person and I’m pretty sure on some level I still don’t. I am so desperate for someone to validate me that I’ve stayed in relationships far longer than I knew I should and put up with way more.

What is it that makes you you?

I keep my mask up all day because I have to. If I let it slip my emotions take over and my day will be infinitely worse.

I truly hope you find what you are looking for and that life gets happier for you!

I feel like my mask is broken. That it falls off if someone looks at me. I don't know how to find who I am, I've been in everyone's shadow my whole life. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope life gets happier for you too.

Finding yourself is never easy and I’m not sure everyone ever truly does. I don’t feel like I have but I’ve always struggled my view of myself as being positive in any way whatsoever.

My suggestion would be to start experimenting with new things (not drugs) and see what appeals to you. There’s this misconception that your job is who you are, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re say a nurse and you love you job, believe you’ve found your purpose in life and identify totally as a nurse that’s amazing and we should all be so lucky... but let’s face it most people are going to end up in jobs they hate making too little for too much work and will never truly be satisfied as a Wal-Mart employee or fry cook or whatever.

You can find other labels and wear them with pride. Adventurous, yogi, wine connoisseur, artist, runner, etc that have nothing to do with what you might do everyday but brings you immense joy. I try to hang my hat on writer but let’s face it, unless you count writing to strangers online I haven’t written anything worth mentioning in the last several years. I’ll get back there though. Some day.

The point is that I’m rediscovering loves I haven’t had since I was a child. Things that make me feel more like me than I have in years. Most of them involve being outside but whatever. There’s plenty to do out there.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t? What is something you used to do but miss? Is there anything you absolutely love doing that makes you feel unique and special?

Those would be my suggestions on where to start.

You like to write? I do too. I haven't written anything I've really liked in a long time, but it's always been my dream to do it.

Start by getting some sun several times per day, especially in the early morning when possible. Have your nutrition levels tested. You're probably low on all kinds of vitamins & minerals. Try having your adrenal glands & thyroid tested. That can also cause anxiety and depression. Lastly, drink water. Dehydration is common in todays society.

Sorry for all your sad feelings. I won’t sugar coat this. It has taken me a lifetime to get to where I am. Happy but still on medication and therapy. The first thing I did was remove myself from all the negative people in my life. I was lonely but after a bit feeling better about myself. I struggle with self esteem but work at it constantly. My life is no bed of roses but it’s a lot better than it was. I still have dark days but I also have days I feel happy and smile. I wish you all the luck in the world. DON’T ever give up on yourself. Things should look up once you get the negative people out of your life.

I have struggled a lot in my life with anxiety and depression. I remember in high school over hearing my mom say to my sister that I was never going to amount to anything. I still have some difficulties, but it has gotten much better. I had to force my way out-something I couldn't do without my faith. Like the others said you can't compare yourself to others. I may not be able to do as much as some women my age, but I wasn't created to do what they are able to do. I have been able to see gifts in myself that others may not have. I think it was when a counselor gave me a personality profile and found out I was an introvert I realized why I reacted the way I did in certain situations and gave myself a bit of grace that I found a lot of relief. Like I wasn't trying to be or do things more extroverted people do anymore. It was hard for me to be in large crowds for the longest time, and even now loud crowded parties are really hard for me and when I get home all I want to do is cry. Its almost like my whole nervous system is on overload. My thoughts went way in the gutter and it was hard to drag them back out and replace them with truth. My husbands family is the complete opposite of me so I always feel inadequate. One time I tried to volunteer at a shelter and since it was New Years eve (I was trying to escape a crowded family party and do something good at the same time) but again with the loud music and crowd etc... I was able to go to the largest church in the US though and always felt joyful and refreshed when I got home;-) Ive gotten stronger and stronger. Do you know what triggers your feelings? Are you taking any meds or have a therapist? Heres a link to a websites with some resources I hope may help : bit.ly/2mFxWoz Hugs, peace and Prayers <3

Thank you for the resources. I don't like crowded rooms. I'm a huge introvert. I take medication, but I hate taking it. It makes me feel like I have to take them in order to feel anything but sad. Like happiness isn't something I know. I'm probably explaining this badly. When you have to go to some place with a lot of people, do you shut down too? I'll be okay for a little bit, I normally just stick around people I know, but once I notice how crowded everything is, I freak out and I freeze. It's like my whole body just shuts down. The only thing I'm able to do is cry and run away after what feels like hours of everyone staring at me. Even though they aren't, and it's just a few minutes. How do you make it through a crowd?

Hey! Sorry its been so long since I've been on here. Yes, I do tend to shut down in crowds. I've learned some coping mechanisms-IDK if they are healthy or not. I've learned that if I tell myself ahead of time that its going to be a horrible experience, then it usually is. I wouldn't ever go to something like a party by myself unless I had to without my husband. Sometimes I have to prepare myself before hand and just pray and think through situations. I've learned how to smile and nod and say enough to be polite. Some of my husbands personality is rubbing off and I start conversations with strangers in the store sometimes-which at first was kind of scary cause in the middle of a conversation Id feel like all of a sudden I was out in the deep end of the pool and couldn't swim. Now its different and it feels more natural. Cell phones are a wonderful thing for an introvert when forced into horribly uncomfortable situations. Like last time I didn't think until maybe the last hour of the party (it was my husbands cousins birthday) that I should find a quiet corner and read a book on my kindle app. And theres always social media and texting-if you have a good friend that would text you (coach , cheer you on) through whatever your doing that may be helpful. My husband is understanding and lets me go for walks if I need to to take a breather. Or use the bathroom. Also, I used to go to these family parties and stay long enough to be polite. Like Id say hi to everyone and then after an hour I'd leave and usually it was a Saturday night so I would go to my church's Saturday night service. Important thing that Im trying to remember is that its ok to feel the way I do and its ok if I don't like those situations. Its ok for me to find something else to do. Its ok to be me. Its ok if not everyone is ok with that. Joel Osteen once talked about how when he goes to Victorias family gatherings they like to talk a lot and he doesn't. He goes and watches sports while they talk for hrs. Then theres the situations like college or something you can't necessarily escape-well, I tend to put a bubble around myself, remind myself to smile, and take it one step at a time. I think about what I have to do and the next step. Because of my faith in God I trust in Him to get me through the hard things. I believe He created me on purpose for a purpose and He knows my weaknesses. Theres an awesome song called "Oceans" that was pretty much my theme song for the longest time (you can find it on Youtube) Afterwards when I start thinking about all the awkward things I may have done, I have to just give it to Him. There are/will be times when we need to stretch and challenge ourselves and come out of our shells, but you will know when the time is right for that. For me, its knowing that Im not here for myself but to serve others. It makes the uncomfortableness worth the challenge. Also, seeing many of my family members stay stuck in fear. After a very social situation I also have to take a nap. Rest and time alone esp after a situation like that is very important for an introvert. I like to take some time in the morning for prayer and journaling. I try not to drink too much caffeine when Im going to be in an uncomfortable situation cause it makes my nervous system more anxious and I end up shaking etc... Don't be ashamed to take medication if you need it. If you were diabetic or had thyroid issues I'm sure you wouldn't be ashamed to take your meds. If it isn't helping, maybe talk to your doctor. Sometimes side effects make things worse and you may need to try another one. If you can, I think therapy is great. Maybe try some cognitive therapy to work through the situations that are difficult for you? Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps a bit <3

Hi, I really resonated with what you said, especially about how hard it is to get out of bed, wanting to cry at little things, and canceling plans all the time. All of these issues really have been hitting me this last month. It's excruciating and unbearable. I guess, I just wanted to let you know that I understand, and that your post helped me feel seen and understood.

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