Start Swimming

Denial. Denial is googling symptoms of depression and anxiety because I don’t want to *that person* who calls a minor inconvience a depressive episode while knowing GODDAMN GOOD AND WELL I need to shut up and go to the doctor. 

For the last…however many years, I’ve been telling myself, or others, that I’m like a “reverse hypochondriac”. It took me until today to realize that I’m just in denial. In denial about everything. My depression, anxiety, and any medical problem (big or small) that arises. Even worse, once noticed that I’m so gung ho to help everyone around me, but when it comes to helping myself I stutter step. You can’t spend all your time fixing other people in hopes that it’ll make you feel more whole. You have to fucking help yourself. 

I spend my days working with individuals with developmental disabilities to help them live a better life. I work, and overwork, myself because as long as they shower themselves, help put their arm in their shirt, or give me a thumbs up…it’s worth it. I give so much to so many. Time, energy, rides, a jacket, my last dollar, or a laugh. All I ever want in return is the thought that I helped. A simple smile, wave, anything. But in the end I’m not happy. It doesn’t fill the void. 

There’s always an empty spot in my chest. It feels like my lungs are bottomless and I can’t get enough air. I could breathe in forever and never get enough, like in life. It leaves me feeling, no pun intended, deflated. My eyes and emotions glazed over; I feel like someone hit “pause” on my basic human brain functions. Meanwhile my mind is racing; I’m in a million different places. I end up feeling drained when I just want to have enough, and be enough. 

On top of the eternal feeling of dread and a gaping hole in my chest, I’m realizing my toxicity levels within myself. I’m so good at pointing out toxic people and traits in others but I can never find them in regards to my own personality. Better yet, I deny their existence all together. But I think I’ve narrowed some down here:

  1. I never apologize because I never feel like I have to; I’m “always” right. Plot twist, I’m not. 
  2. I’m so full of pride that I take every disagreement as a challenge and I fight to win.
  3. Irrational temper, normally brought on by anxiety. 
  4. I hate easily and forgive rarely.
  5. Crippling self-loathing and insecurity that’s only worsened by my anxiety. 
  6. Complete and udder denial of my mental illnesses unless I’m using it for self-deprication or as an excuse.

Although, that’s just what I can think of now. And what I think is something that needs to be handled. 

So, is that the first step? Admittance, right? It’s time to stop treading water and get to work. To stop being drown by my inner demons and start swimming. 

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