I was going to ride my bike today, but my body didn’t want to. I’ve learned to trust myself in these sort of things.
(from http://pixellane.tumblr.com/post/164862358840/i-see-you // credits to pixellane // please consider supporting them on Patreon)
It was probably around this time last year, I would also be awake at the crack of dawn, I would wake up earlier than that, of course, because I would be going to work. Around this time, 4:59 AM, I should already be two blocks away from our building. When I got to a free cubicle, which I always hope is the one with the great view of the sunrise, my hands would be clammy, my chest a hollow pit, and my stomach tumbling as if I haven’t had a bite to eat that morning. I was familiar with the sensations, as if I didn’t have it every single day of my life going to school at 7 AM. I hated it, and I hated even more knowing what caused it and not knowing what to do about it. But in the mornings when I had to go to work, that feeling would only get worse by the day. And I started to hate even myself for it.
It was definitely a few weeks from now when I would start getting the worst anxiety attacks I would have to date. The first was in my cubicle, when I was waiting to clock in. The hollow pit in my chest and the tumbling in my stomach was worse than ever before and I was sure that I was going to cry. Nothing would be worse, of course, because if I cried, people would see and ask questions, and what could I say? I’d only cried like that once before, it was probably also a year before that, when I was contemplating not doing my college thesis, and I broke down in the middle of class. I’d lied down on my desk, pretended to be asleep, until I felt my friend shuffle in the seat next to me, and I kept my head down, pulling her out of the room. I dislike crying in public, and I abhor crying for no reason at all. Yet I know I wasn’t crying for no reason. I knew why I was crying. I just couldn’t tell everybody else why. Because I didn’t think my reasons were good enough.
This all happened with prior knowledge and acknowledgement of anxiety and depression, but I didn’t want to think I had them. I didn’t want to sully the experience of those that actually did if I only thought I had them. But I did reach out to a few of my friends and they all said the same thing. I need to tell my parents. But I didn’t. And it ended up with me feeling lightheaded on the breakfast table, shaking, trying to catch my breath. That was one of the good mornings I remember. It took a lot of convincing from myself to pull myself together and to take one step at a time. I thought I had it, but then I didn’t.
A few weeks from that experience, I had stopped going to work, and I had to resign. Not because my parents knew and recognized I got anxious and depressed at my job. But because after asking them time and again if I should go back, having been diagnosed with mild tuberculosis, a mitral valve prolapse, and anxiety, they left the decision up to me. “If you think you can still do it, why quit?” As if it were that easy.
Nobody can ever say I didn’t try. I tried so hard and so much, that my body had to drag itself down just to stop me from crumbling in the middle of a public room for all the world to see. The least I could do was to stop the cause from happening again, and let myself deteriorate further.
To this day, my parents haven’t acknowledged my anxiety and my depression, even with all the medication I had to take last year, all the sleep I had succumbed to, and all the things I’ve written here. To this day, I’m still trying to pick up my pieces, because I know nobody is going to do it for me. And I shouldn’t expect them to. I have my back. And if I have enough energy to spare, I try to have my friends’ backs too.
This morning, I woke up early and couldn’t go back to sleep. I remembered around this time last year, I’d have settled down in my cubicle, watching a beautiful sunrise. And despite all the ignorant posts that tried to convince all of us that all the cure for anxiety and depression is to go out there and see a grand view, I still got sick. It’s convincing enough for the rest of the ignorant world. But I know better. So do the rest of us who have to suffer through this. But we are also all the stronger for when we get back up and try again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Ad infinitum.
I [try to] update
every Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday night! I’m always present on social media, @thecynicalnerd on Instagram and Tumblr, @nerdTHEcynical on Twitter and Snapchat 🙂