Tag Archives: mind

When anxiety changes into depression

Anxiety is that odd feeling that grabs you by the throat and suffocates you to the point where you wheeze for air. No matter how hard you inhale you can’t seem to get anything inside of your lungs. It’s a feeling that constantly makes you worry. It nibbles on your insecurities and makes you lose your mind. You become tired and restless and your heart starts thrashing in your ribcage and you start sweating like crazy. All the energy you had in your body leaves you, making you feel so tired that you can’t even move. A deep slicing headache takes a hold of you. The pain is so bad that you’re willing to swallow as many pills as you can to make it go away.

The anxiety slowly leaves, and depression fills the void. Everything that once held meaning loses its purpose. Faith that once kept you in one peace starts to suffocate you, making you run around, gasping for air. You sit in one place like a statue staring into space because the wars in your mind are damaging you. You can’t fight the world because you’re losing a war with yourself. You lose faith and then slowly you lose every part of you that makes you human. All you want to do is lie down, curl into a ball, cover yourself and sleep. But even sleep gives up on you and you lay awake, trying to hold onto whatever excuse you can find to keep going.

Things that once made you happy, don’t bring a smile to your face anymore. Even the simplest tasks, like making breakfast seem like a burden. Getting out of bed seems useless.

Thoughts roam around in your mind, making you question the validity of your existence. You lose hope and at that moment everything just seems useless. That soft voice telling you to end it all takes over and you find yourself smiling to that thought. It brings an odd comfort.

Depression or anxiety is not easy to deal with. It’s like you’re drowning in an ocean and everyone else is drowning with you, but they can breathe, and you can’t. It’s like everything is on fire and no one seems hurt but you. It’s like everyone else is living in a parallel universe and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to escape.

Everyone has their way of dealing with anxiety. I write. I wrote a freaking poetry book to deal with my mental health. Curing my Venom. It’s based on the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But no matter what stage I’m on, I can’t seem to move on to acceptance. I always get dragged back. I don’t know what’s holding me, but I do know I have chains as thick as iron grasping my arms. And I’m suffocating.

Be gentle with people who have anxiety and depression or any other mental illness. They’re too busy fighting the demons in their minds that they can’t seem to fight you. Give them assurance. Constant assurance that things will be okay because sometimes the demons in their mind are so loud that they can’t hear you over the ruckus in their brain.

A day with Anxitey….

Sometimes I don’t wake up to sunlight peeking through my windows. I wake up to a dark invisible cloud looming above my head. I don’t hear the chirping of birds and the rustling of wind. I hear my own heart bashing against my chest and the blood surging through my veins, and it is in that moment where I want to lie back down and pull the cover over my head and pretend that everything is okay, even though I know it’s not. I’m having anxiety or maybe heart failure. I can’t tell the difference.

My brain isn’t functioning, and a headache is threatening to spill. I’m shivering, and I feel like my heart is about to pop out of my chest. Tears are forming in the ducts of my eyes and I can’t seem to breathe, but I have to force myself up, even when every cell in my body is begging me to lie back down.

The simplest things seem like a burden, and I can’t explain the explosions going on in my mind and in my stomach. The day won’t go well; I know this beforehand. Deep inside, I’m wishing for night to come so I could hide beneath it, but the hands on the clock seem to be moving slower and slower and there is nothing I can do to make them move fast enough.

I drag my legs out of bed and change for school. But I silently sit on the sofa hoping my mother wouldn’t notice the panic crawling on my features, but she does, and she asks me. I can’t get the words out. I can’t tell her that I’m having anxiety. I can’t tell her that everything around me is ticking like a bomb and I can’t control my heart from beating at a rate I can’t calculate, or I can’t control my limbs from shaking. I can’t explain that I can’t breathe because it feels like I have a heavy elephant sitting on my chest.

“I’m okay.” The words seem rehearsed. I lie to her and she believes me, not because she actually does, but because she has seen me like this, and to her this is normal because that’s what I make it look like.

I have to force myself from leaving the house, but incoherent thoughts erupt in my mind. The stupidest things that would make any normal person laugh, are haunting me. I’m afraid the pizza guy next door is an agent and he’s trying to kill me. Even though deep inside I know he’s a kind father of five and he won’t do anything to harm me. I’m afraid that a meteorite will burst out of the sky and against all possibilities it will fall on me. And the one thing eating my insides is that I’ll have a panic attack in the middle of nowhere and the people around me will laugh. They won’t understand because no one ever does.  I have to bite back the tears and suck it up even though there is a storm brewing inside of me.

School isn’t better either. There are familiar faces that look so distant. I have friends gathered around me and I can’t tell them that I don’t want to talk. I can’t tell them that deep inside I am drowning. I’m scared that if I tell them they’ll either leave me to drown or they’ll drown with me. Both possibilities are equally terrifying.

It seems better to have no friends. I know I’m hurting them because I am being hurt, but it’s just something I can’t control. And they don’t ask me, because they don’t know. But how do they not see? How do they not notice?

It’s hard telling them why I cancel plans last minute. It’s because I don’t know when my anxiety will tow with me. And even I don’t understand how it transforms into depression, and then it morphs into anger and I can’t control it and I hate myself for that.

Sitting in class is suffocating. It feels like the walls are closing in on me. I can’t focus on the teacher’s words because I’m scared that the girl sitting next to me will hear my heart, or that she’ll see I’m sweating even when the classroom is cold.

It’s hard explaining to my parents that even though I’m brave, that even though I look strong, deep inside I’m not. Sometimes I feel like I am breaking, and I am falling apart. It’s so hard telling them that even though I’m a grown adult, I still need them to hold my hand. I still need to lean on them. I still need them to speak for me because I honestly can’t do it.

It’s this odd suffocation that can’t be cured with oxygen. I’m drowning, and I can’t be saved with an anchor. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is: I am ashamed to feel this way. I would rather burn and turn to ash than to accept that I have a mental illness. I feel like a disgrace. There are times where I am disgusted with myself. No one around me knows how to deal with this, but I can’t blame them, because I don’t know how to deal with it myself. I’m afraid of being judged, afraid of hearing the word ‘Mental illness’ because it feels like some sort of plague that will spread if I accept it. Like it’s an airborne disease and I’m not allowed to say it out loud. I come from a culture where Mental illness is taboo. Something we don’t speak of. Something we don’t acknowledge.

I am just one, out of countless people who feel this way. Mental illness is not something that will go away on its own, even though sometimes I wish it could. It’s not a phase that you’ll snap out of. It has the ability to transform and morph into something new. Something much worse. It can lead to depression and even suicide. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be talked about. Like any other disease, it needs to be cured.

Picture drawn by me.

The kiss of failure!

Isn’t it weird how sometimes you work so hard on something, just to be kissed by failure at the end? And it’s not the soft, subtle kiss you find in those happy ever afters. It’s one of those kisses that makes your heart sink somewhere near your kidneys. The one that makes you doubt your very existence. It’s the kind of kiss that haunts you for the rest of your life.

The kiss of failure never comes alone. It comes with self-hatred, doubt, desperation, and despair. It slowly creeps on you from the back and jumps on you when you least expect it. But you fall so hard that the earth stops rotating on its axis and I’m sure the sound is so loud that the angels up in heaven can hear it too. I’m sure they’ve gotten used to it by now.

Failure isn’t the only thing that bothers me. The after effects are just as worse; like an earthquake. When it comes it rips and tears everything apart and the after-shocks are just as worse. They break what’s already broken.

It’s like your mind becomes your greatest enemy and the world transforms into a very dark place. The beautiful masks people wear come dripping off and you get to see their real faces and they’re not pretty. You understand your fall but along with that, you understand what value people around you have. You understand that the mountain you were climbing had faults of its own. I’m not saying that failure is a bad thing, but it isn’t something that gives you comfort. If there’s one thing I’ve learned that is- the mountains you want to climb won’t get smaller. The paths you want to voyage won’t get prettier. The journeys you want to travel won’t get easier. And the fall definitely won’t hurt less. But the real question is how badly do you want it? How badly are you willing to fail? To fall? To crash? To burn? And then to reform? If your will to reach the peak empowers all other wills, then even failure will bow down to you.

It’s hard, very hard to swim in an ocean that’s pulling you down, and yet here you are, trying to climb a mountain you can’t even see. But if you give in, the waves will drown you. If you fight, then maybe, just maybe the waves will give up and they’ll push you to the shore.

There was once a man in Halacin who wanted to become an artist, but his parents forced him to become a doctor because according to them an artist had no value. “Artists don’t get paid much. How will you live? How will you ever be happy?” the parents argued. The man wanted to please his parents, so he left his passion and went to med school. There he studied hard, but no matter how much effort he put into his work, he would always fail. His joy vanished, and his heart did not align with his head. Every second that passed by pulled him toward art, but the man did not give in.

Because the man was doing so poorly in med-school, he was kicked out. Having no other option, the man burned his books and set sail to begin his journey as an artist. His parents disowned him and because of that the man had to take odd jobs to support himself. He worked as a mechanic, a dishwasher, a servant, but he did not complain. He was happy because for the first time he was listening to that voice in the back of his head.

The man wandered for years, but he couldn’t find a destination. Every journey he would travel would lead him to more turns. The man, tired of being on the road for so long, and aimlessly walking around, became tired and decided to give up and go back to his parents.

His parents were willing to accept him on one condition; that he follow the journey they had chosen for him. The man did as he was told, but he was unhappy, and he failed miserably. He did not understand what life had in store for him, but he knew one thing that failing while dreaming didn’t hurt as bad as failing without any dreams. The man, even with failure constantly kissing him, understood one thing, that failure was inevitable and so was suffering. No matter what journey he chose he was bound to fail, but he could choose what type of failure he was willing to endure. And in that instance when he did not know which journey to choose, he understood that he was willing to fail again and again, on a journey that made him happy. He was willing to suffer on a journey without a destination because it made him value himself. It taught him that failure is just as important as success.

He told his parents that he was willing to suffer, but of his own accord. His parents, furious with him, kicked him out again. The journey his parents had seen for him was easy, but it didn’t make him happy. Yes, he had a clean bed and warm food, but he lacked the ambition to move forward. He lacked the desire to do something.

The man left his parents and aimlessly voyaged again. He faced many setbacks and there were times when he wanted to give up, but he always remembered the reason why he held on for so long. When the man finally climbed the mountain of despair and hopelessness, he saw victory, wearing a blue cape, waiting for him on the peak of the mountain.

“Took you long enough,” victory scowled. The man was baffled. He was mad, angry, and annoyed. He was furious at victory. He couldn’t hold in his tears anymore, so he wailed like a small child.

“Why?” The man cried. “I spent years searching for you. Did you not pity me at all?”

Victory smiled at the man and said, “Every time you took a step toward me, I took two steps toward you and every time you stopped, I stopped with you. Every time you doubted me I doubted you. We’re linked. Don’t you understand that you’ve made it here on the back of failure? It was your perseverance that bought me here, to you.”

I’m not saying that your path will be easy. It won’t. But comparing your journey to someone else’s won’t make things better. Failure is a part of life. Maybe instead of fighting it, we should learn to embrace it. Kiss it back with such passion that victory gets jealous. Learn, and move on. But remember, every fall of yours is bringing victory closer to you.

Thank you for your insults!

If you know I see dreams higher
than the sapphire alluring sky,
then why do you dig my grave
in your atrocious mind.

Stop tying me to these wounds
I’ll pull through all this pain.
Your hatred only gives me strength
to break free from these chains.

My flight has yet not left,
I’m dwelling my own demons,
the ones you planted in my desire
to keep me from my freedom

You’ve always pressed me down;
your laughs still echo in my ear.
They haunt me day and night
but remind me why I am still here

All your taunts trapped me
behind thick rusty bars of terror,
each day I would close my windows
wishing you could become better.

But I failed to realize that in me,
there’s a beauty you don’t see.
I’m elevating into victory,
where your harsh words won’t destroy me.

But now I’ve broken all those barriers,
the ones shackled in your disgust.
It was you who led me to this victory,
So, thank you for your insults.

The beauty of suffering!

Why is it that sometimes our path is crystal clear, but our eyes become clouded? Why do we become so hollow when everything around us is supposed to fill us up? That’s how I feel right now, like a huge chunk of me is missing, or maybe I ripped it out. Maybe because I was afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of aching, so I took away that part of myself that was capable of feeling pain. But that’s where I was wrong. Pain doesn’t always have to destroy, sometimes, against all odds, it has the ability to save.

Imagine getting stabbed in the back. It hurts I know, but what if it didn’t hurt? What if you didn’t feel pain? Then you would never know how severely you’re injured. If you don’t know you’re wounded how will you sew your wounds? How can you be cured? Pain, as harsh as it sounds, is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right and that something needs to change.

Through pain and suffering, we understand the beauty of love. The beauty of healing. Because when you’re in pain you have two choices. Either you give in to that feeling or you fight it. Giving in is easy, but fighting is hard because you don’t know what the outcome will be. You might come out injured even more than before and I guess that’s what life is. To keep fighting. To keep falling and to keep rising.

Sometimes the scars aren’t visible. The burns are etched deep inside, but they still hurt. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life that is to never be afraid of pain. Because it is through pain we understand life’s greatest lessons. I’m not saying that I’m unafraid. And to be honest, I will never be ready to fight, but backing down doesn’t really seem like an option.

The very early King of Halacin had been through so much suffering in his life that he vowed to keep his unborn son away from pain. He did the best he could. He built walls and barriers around his palace to conceal his son from the outside world, but that didn’t help. Pain would always find a way to sneak through.

The King became desperate. Not knowing what to do, he left his Kingdom in search of the witch who had extraordinary powers. He found her, convinced her and promised her gold if she would take all the pain away from his unborn son’s life. The witch agreed, “but my lord,” she warned. “Your heir’s pain shall be transferred to you.” The King did not care. His unborn son was all that mattered to him.

When the King came back to his Kingdom, he was told that his wife had passed away while giving birth to a healthy baby boy. The King as happy as he was, mourned for his dead wife. She was the only living being that loved him for who he was. She was the one who showed him light when he was wrapped in darkness.

Days passed by and months changed into years. The King’s son was now an adult, who was cruel, unjust and unkind. He did not care about anyone in the Kingdom but himself. The King saw his son as a threat to the people, so with remorse and regret, he ordered his son to be hanged. The King, knowing his son would die, was in excruciating pain. He lost everyone close to him. Having no other option, the King went to his son and asked him why he was like this.

“I’ve never felt pain, father,” the son said smiling. “I don’t know what suffering is and I’ve never suffered to know how it feels. If I’ve never been hurt, how can I feel someone else’s ache.”

The King realized that he was the cause for his son’s behavior. Had he not asked the witch, his son wouldn’t have been like this.  Pain, he understood was what made living creatures, humans. Without pain, there would be no empathy no companionship. It was through pain, people understood the beauty of love. The beauty of giving. Pain was not a form of suffering, it was a blessing.

Before the King could hang his son, his son escaped and led an army full of people out into the Kingdom. Where they burned down people’s houses and killed whoever came in their way. The King becoming restless left the Kingdom and went in search of the witch. When he found her, he begged her and asked her for mercy. “Give my son a reason to suffer. Give him a reason to feel pain. Make him human again,” he cried. “Watching him like this is giving me pain.”

The witch assured the King and promised him that everything would be okay. “You will be in peace.” The witch promised. “And your pain will fall on your son’s shoulders and he will suffer.”

The King was not at ease. He was watching his Kingdom burn down in flames. Greif took over him and he fell ill. When his son heard of his father’s fate, he felt something crack inside of him. For the first time, he felt a pang of guilt. He felt pain.

The son stopped what he was doing and led his army back into the palace. The slicing ache in his chest was increasing. The man who had raised him, protected him was lying in the lap of death. The son ran to the King’s bed, but before he could apologize for his crimes, the King died and was in peace, but the son was in pain and was suffering. His father’s death gave him a reason to feel. It gave him guilt and sorrow.

Pain doesn’t come with a smile. It comes with sharp claws, but in those claws, there is mercy. In that wound, there is a cure. Maybe not all wounds make sense, not all injuries are capable of healing. But there is salvation. There is always salvation.