Sleep is not my friend

It’s 12:11 am. I am exhausted, but I am anxious. This has become an every night thing for me. Sleep is no longer a normal part of my routine anymore. I don’t think I can even remember what a full nights sleep is like. I have anxiety and like every other night it’s keeping me wide awake and on my toes.

My anxiety started years ago, along with my depression and OCD. I don’t remember what it’s like to live life without it, and living life with it has been pure hell. The depression started around 12 years old, along with the self harm and eating disorders. I can’t remember just what it was that caused those to come into my life but they did at full speed. And now 16 years later I still fight those demons on a daily. I’m fortunate enough that the self harm stopped a few years ago, after my suicide attempt. Things had fallen apart and I just wanted to sleep forever, just wanted it to all go away. But that’s besides the point, this post is about the anxiety.

My anxiety has gradually gotten worse over the years. It’s gotten to a point where at times, I am completely unable to even leave my house. One of the hardest things about having an anxiety disorder is not only how it affects me but how it affects the ones around me. For me, an anxiety attack is hell, just as it is for everyone else I’m sure. My hear starts beating like crazy, it feels like I can’t breath, everything starts to feel like its shutting down around me, and then I go into a panic attack. And with that panic attack comes me passing out, which in itself is pretty scary. Now the passing out has been happening for a few years, and lately it happens a lot. Even if I’m not doing anything. What scares me most is they have no answers, and going to my doctor does nothing for me. No matter what I go in for his recommendation is always therapy. Which I’ve tried, however had to stop because of the anxiety.

Anxiety is hell. It’s taken my freedom from me, my ability to work, my ability to spend time with friends, see family, go to the grocery store and sleep. There’s certain roads I can’t drive down, certain areas I can’t go to because it sends me in a panic.  I lay in bed at night wide awake, looking over to my snoring husband and 3 dogs. Looking at them so peaceful, so comfortable, and I miss that. It’s like my mind runs a million miles and minute and I can’t calm it down. Right now it’s to that point, where there feels like there’s so many thoughts and I can’t stop them, where I’m crying because I want it all to stop. And the scariest thing that comes from it, is the thought of not wanting to be here.

Thank god I have my husband and his love. Because sometimes, I feel like if it wasn’t for that, one of these times I may not be strong enough to fight back the thoughts of hurting myself. And it’s not so much that I want to die, I just want to stop the thoughts, I want to stop the craze that’s going on in my head. I want to be ok. And I realize maybe therapy would help me, but I can’t get myself to get over that initial fear.

I want to remember what life was like when I was able to hold down a full time job, when I could go hang out with friends, have a meal, have a good time. When I could go places with out having to have someone with me all the time. I want to be ok so my husband doesn’t have to worry about me all the time, worry about if I did any damage from the fall and hitting my head.

I want people to understand that this isn’t the way I chose to live. This isn’t a way that I would want anyone to live their life. That’s one of the hardest things, is trying to get everyone else to understand just what is going on in your head. To get them to understand you have no control over how you are feeling. Mental illness is an invisible disease so to many people that means it does not exist. And it’s hard because he tries to push me to break out of this shell, and reminds me that unless I conquer that fear and try something then it is never going to get better. But how can I get it across to him that it’s harder than he thinks.

To everyone else these things are small. It shouldn’t be hard to go to the grocery store, and I should be able to enjoy myself. But I can’t. Something falling off a shelf, or not bleaching everything every day, not doing the dishes within 2 minutes of them being in the sink, those should not affect a person’s life as much as they do mine, but again I have no control over it and that’s the hardest part. I know he pushes me because he wants me to get better and wants me to not be trapped but sometimes the pushing is too hard to deal with. I wish people would get that if it were easy to just get over this stuff, believe me I’d do it in a heart beat. But it isn’t and I can’t.

These are small things to people, easy things to do. But to me, in my head, they are something that could be the end of the world. Realistically I know some of these things would not be hard to do, but when your mind is running the show there’s only so much you can do. He say’s he understands but sometimes he just does not. Sometimes to him I make a big deal out of nothing, and I don’t want things to be that way but I don’t know how to break this cycle. In my head I’d love to just forget all these fears, I’d love to just hangout with friends, or go down that road I used to go down every day but when it comes to actually doing it, its the scariest thing in the world.

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