One Day...

One day I hope for true happiness and contentment.

At the moment I think i'm happy sometimes but never contented. i'm better than I used to be thoughn but I want to be happier and I seem to be hitting my head agains't a bit of a brick wall. I desperately want to feel happy and content with my life. I know its all about the power of your mind. I know I can feel that way... that you don't need to have a perfect life to feel contented... but it isn't that easy to achieve.

I ran out on an evening with my friend a few weeks ago. Just suddenly got the erge to run... and I couldn't help myself that time. Sometimes I manage to control it - but this time I didnt and I just left. I am suffering from anxiety I think. I just feel like i'm about to take an exam all the time. Like i'm waiting outside the exam hall. I feel the kind of anxiety you would feel if you had done the work, revised, but this was the biggest most important exam of your life and you couldn't help but be nervous about it.

I think my anxiety is connected with my past and with my hopes for the future but knowing that doesn't seem to help me. I still can't seem to fully relax. Everyday I feel anxious. I feel pleased when I manage to talk myself into a moment of relaxation... but its usually fleating and the panic comes back and my stomach clenches and my heart starts to race again.

I hope very much for the day when things get easier.

I suffered from depression when I was a child. At the time I didn't know what it was but looking back I know it was depression. I remember standing on the top of a bridge when I was about 18... really wanting to jump but not having the guts to do it. I stood there for a long time. I stood there thinking - if I jump and one of those cars below me hits me hard and I die straight away it will be fine. I won't feel any pain anymore but if I am unlucky a car with hit me in such a way that I live but I am disabled or in a lot of pain. I thought - I am not lucky enough to die cleanly so its likely I'll just end up being disabled and that is really not going to help with my depression. I'll wake up in even a worse state. So I never jumped. I am glad I never jumped.

I used to feel down all the time. I had no friends and no self confidence. I used to have nightmares, ones where all my family would die horrifically or one recurring one where wolves were at my door trying to get me. Every night... I used to cry in my sleep a lot.

Now things are better, much better. I have friends who really help me (well at least they try to - but often they don't understand or I feel uncomfortable burdening them - but they do care). I have some confidence (although I could do with more) I enjoy my job, my flat is nice (if not a little dirty at times) and I have a social life. I know lovely people.

I have spent the last 10 years getting over my depression and every day its got a little easier. There is hope for all those suffers with that I suppose. It is possible. I remember a time when I felt death was the only way out. Now I'm now 28. I started suffering from depression from the age of about 11... that's when things started to get bad. When I was at primary school I was ok. I think realistically I have managed to stop feeling depressed for about 6 years now but I haven't completely solved everything. I now, instead of depression, seem to be suffering from anxiety. One problem has just been replaced by another.

Don't get me wrong. I would actually much prefer to be anxious than depressed. Being scared is much better than being miserable. At least for me, but what I really want is just to be happy and content. If I just feel that for one year of my life I would be so grateful. Just one year of true happiness. I am not sure I would know what to do with myself... it is almost a foreign thing. True contentment...

Thankfully - most of my past is now behind me. Maybe true happiness and contentment will come my way one day. I don't think I am depressed any more at least. I don't hope for a way to die that won't be painful and I don't have nightmares every night. I have more confidence and at least I like myself. I also have friends... amazing. But I can't, however hard I try to, seem to get rid of my anxiety.

The key to getting over my depression was to realise what exactly it was that was making me depressed and facing it. In my case it was my family. My mum and dad were in a really bad phase of their relationship when I was growing up. My mum used to cry most days and my dad was a ball of rage most of the time. My mum didn't have any friends and used to talk to me about their problems all the time, at the tender age of about 8. I was supporting my mum through a marriage I couldn't hope to understand. It made me miserable... I felt trapped and I began to truely hate my dad. Me and my dad never spoke properly to one another. He made me feel unloved and I often wished him dead. My mum was an unnatural friend. She was depressed and lent on me for support rather than the other way around. I didn't feel I could share my feelings with her... or at least it wouldn't have helped me. I needed laughter and support. Neither of which I could get from either of my parents. They were far too wrapped up in their own problems.

Things started to get better when I faced all this and when I moved out of my parents house. That's when I slowly started to come to terms with it all. Slowly I forgave my dad and stopped hating him. I still regard him to be not the greatest dad - but the important thing is that he didn't mean to hurt me and nor did my mum. They wanted to be good parents. They were just unable to be that to me at the time. What's helped as well is that they have dealt with a few of their problems too. They are still not the happiest couple I have ever met - but they are so much better than they were. (By the way - my parents - however miserable they may have made each other - would never had divorced. They are traditional and stubborn. I often think it would have been better if they had.. but oh well)

So that was my childhood. Misery brought on mostly by the lack of happy family life but also made worse by a good dose of teenage hormones...

I consider myself to be ok with my past. It is after all my past. I do not need my parents like I used to as a child. I can go home and think to myself... oh god here they go again... but it doesn't depress me so much any more because my life doesn't have to be theirs. I love them. I will always love them but their lives are theirs and I can't change anything.

So why am I anxious...? I don't want to feel like I am taking an exam every day for the rest of my life... please please please - let me be free and happy. I am going to councilling and it is kinda helping but not that much. It seems to be that my childhood feelings still haunt me. That is what my councillor is saying. So... they are haunting me. How the hell do I get rid of this then? Why did I panic on the train home yesterday? The way in which I have freed myself from depression is just not working for anxiety. I can't do the same thing. It doesn't help. There is nothing left for me to put to rest... to forgive. I have forgiven it all. Its just me and my life now... nothing esle.

The most confusing thing is that I am actually relatively happy with my life... I can't think of anything major I should change. Of course there are things I don't like. My life isn't perfect. But there isn't really anything that would make me less anxious - at least not obviously. A better job? - no not really - I quite like it. A nicer group of friends? - no I like my friendship group. A nicer flat - maybe its dirty due to my flatmate, but I feel at home here.. A boyfriend? - yes that might help but I can't seem to find one of those so I'm just going to have to wait for that. 

I would love to meet someone (I am single) but I don't think that will happen until I stop feeling like this. People can tell you are anxious a mile off. Tend to avoid getting into relationships with needy people... ever noticed that? What you need the most... a caring relationship... doesn't happen when you are anxious or depressed unless you are very lucky. On that point - I have been very lucky. My first serious boyfriend was when I was 17... in the middle of my worst time for depression and he was the best thing that ever happened to me. He basically saved my life. So love at the worst times of your life does happen... but because of my depression I ended up throwing it away in the end. But still... I look back and think - wow - I was fortunate. I might not be alive if it wasn't for him.

My best guess.. about what to do about anxiety.. is to stop trying. To stop worrying. To let myself feel safe. You know.. I think when you get so close to killing yourself... its pretty scary stuff. When you recover from your depression... you feel like you've been on the scariest roller coaster of your life... where the carriage nearlly came off the wheels and plumments to the ground. You are standing there... after the rollercoaster ride... alive and well - without a scratch. But you're heart is racing and you don't calm down and feel safe for a long time... and you certainly never want to go near a roller coaster again.

I think I just feel like that. I've survived depression but will I ever stopped feeling scared of it?

I hope some one out there reads this and feels just a bit the same. Sometimes... just a little understanding from someone who knows where you are coming from - is all you really need to feel better.





jennibee jennibee
Mar 8, 2009