By Jaimy Baek
I am lying down in bed with depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Each day is different for me – I am either doing well; acting “normal”; or the day is endless.
I sleep with depression the most out of the three. Depression does not hit me as a wave of sadness would. Instead, I have no interest in life – I think to myself, “Wake up. Take a shower. Get the day started.” Then a feeling of dread stirs up in me and my thoughts are, “If I get out of bed, then I’ll have to choose what to change into. If I get the day started then that means I’ll have to decide what to eat for breakfast and seriously, that does not sound appealing at all.” Life loses its zest, beauty, and all colors for me. I lie in bed, not planning to get out of it, when I feel my anxiety coming on because I start thinking about how I am disappointing everyone by not getting out of bed.
Anxiety hits me hard in the gut and chest. I begin to have a panic attack. I hate this. Anxiety is the WORST. I sleep with anxiety almost 24/7. It eats me alive from the inside out. I feel my chest pinching, making it hard to breathe. I sit up in bed and begin hyperventilating, hoping that doing so will make it easier for me to breathe again. I want to run or do something physical to make all the nervous energy disappear, but my depression keeps me from leaving the room, let alone the bed. Soon, my thoughts intervene, making it so LOUD and impossible for me to calm down. This is when my ADHD hits.
When I sleep with ADHD, it affects my thoughts and actions. I am unable to calm down and clear my head – on the contrary, I am moody, restless, and unreachable. I freak out. My ADHD is telling me that everything is boring or stupid or not worth it. That life is not worth it.
Enough is enough. I decide to take action by telling myself I am worth it. It does not work. How do I get through this? I want out of my own skin. I feel so uncomfortable, ugly, gross, and worthless. I cannot stop thinking about ending my life and how peaceful and easy it would be. I start crying because I feel bad about who I am.
It only gets worse and worse.
FINALLY I work up the courage to say to myself, “STOP. YOU CAN DO THIS. HANDLE IT. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS.”
It is then that I begin to feel better. I abruptly stop crying, I breathe easier, and my thoughts quiet. I let myself feel. This is better. As much as it hurts, it is nothing I cannot handle. I realize I must attack all three at once; not separately.
The most important thing: I am NOT my mental illnesses. They are a part of me, but they do not make me WHO I AM. I am strong, beautiful, smart, funny, kind, loving, generous, and worth it. I am here and alive because I can handle whatever life throws at me. After all, life is to be treasured.