I live with clinical depression and anxiety, some say probably ADHD too, but I’m undiagnosed with that one. All I know is my life is a balance of going between depressed and anxious. I’ve been asked why I’m so open about it and honestly, it took a while for me to be able to say it out loud. But now, much like my type2 diabetes and osteoarthritis , I know it’s not who I am, it’s just a glitch in my matrix and I have no shame in it, in fact I’m proud that sharing my story has helped others.
I know some people think that it’s just a way for me to try and get attention. As if being an English speaking coloured girl with an afro and quirky mannerisms in a small primarily Afrikaans town wasn’t getting me enough attention already. But the “I was suicidal and found your posts” DMs make up for the ignorance. En is groot mense was sulke twak praat ( this nonsense of attention-seeking comes from adults)
Obviously living through a world wide pandemic has most people in a tizz. Those who have never had invasive, “I should just kill myself”, “I’m useless”, “Everyone hates me” , “everyone is staring at me” thoughts are over there thinking…”ooooh could this uncomfortable feeling be what ‘attention seeking’ depressed and anxious people are always on about.
Anyways….. because things have been hectic I have had to find a way to cope, especially with the cabin fever of being stuck at home. And for that I have discovered honesty. (and meds, but I digress)
Not that I’ve been lying up until now, but I’ve been forcing myself into places, relationships, activities that made me uncomfortable all in the name of please “don’t hate me”
Now I’m 100% honest and it has taken such a weight off.
- I tell people when my plate it too full now, I used to just say yes to every thing so I would not lose friends , now I say, I’d love to help but can’t sorry, I suggest alternatives and move on.
- I don’t take on extra work when I can’t cope, because even though I could do with the money, I could do with the sanity more.
- I don’t always reply to messages immediately anymore and I haven’t lost friends because of it – go figure.
- Sometimes when I can tell my friend needs my full attention I reply with – hey ,I’m busy reply as soon as I can (cause I don’t want to give you a generic reply) – and no1 has told me to go jump.
- Sometimes I switch my phone off and then I get DMs asking if I’m hiding from the world and to feel free to reach out when I’m ready.
- I phone in sick now , even though as a freelancer I always fear it means I’m going to lose the client.
- I tell people I don’t have the money to do things. (I would max out credit cards for this in the past)
- I tell people when I’m not in the right emotional space to even do a video call and it has not been an issue…
- I don’t attend things I don’t want to attend. I don’t hang out with people who make me feel unwanted.
- I don’t defend myself anymore. If you know me , you know what I stand for and that should be enough
- If people are mean to me, I don’t just take it anymore, I ask “why would you say that” – or I ghost you (I didn’t say I was mature, just honest).
- I admit when I don’t understand things, I ask people to explain, I listen, I learn. Floundering and figuring things out solo is so unnecessary.
- I apologize when I think I might have offended someone instead of living with the guilt and fear
- I ask if someone is upset with me, because I am only human and don’t want to hurt people. Besides, 75% of the time I assume people are upset with me, that’s a heavy burden – it’s also why those I consider the closest to me will send me a meme or tag me in something just to be like…”we are okay”
- I’m honest about my likes and dislikes… I don’t get Bridgerton and I don’t intend to watch it pass episode 2 just to catch the memes. Also don’t get angry, but I know like 4 men that look like the Duke. He looks like that coloured dude from your maths class, just admit it.
- I’m honest that I love BTS , I find these 7 random Korean guys extremely talented and inspiring and they make me belly laugh on their reality show, and I don’t care if I’m considered too old to be into K-pop. I’m at a point where I can differentiate them by their voices and I don’t even speak Korean. And no it’s not cause they are handsome. If you read up on how they got to where they are now, you would give them mad props yourself. Also, I humbly apologize to all the 1 Directions Fans I rolled my eyes at.
I’ve learned that I need to treat myself as well as I treat others and weirdly enough, this has been so good for my anxiety – and I’m honestly feeling better. It sickens me how much time I wasted worrying about people who don’t even know how I like my coffee…sickening I tell you