To have your body completely exhausted as your brain continues to run in circles is something I’ve had to live with the last eight years.
It’s currently 3am and I, for the life of me, couldn’t fall asleep. You’d think that over these past few years I’d have found the off switch to my brain; I’m starting to think it doesn’t exist.
Earlier tonight I came across a quote that said, “The days go by like lightning when you take a two-hour depression nap at 12pm.” I actually laughed hysterically. For me specifically, though, it is a two-hour OCD, anxiety, depression nap. Some will argue that the reason I don’t sleep at night is because I take naps during the day. That’s fair. I get it. But let me tell you what it’s like from my side.
With my anxiety, I worry… Yes, obvious. With my depression, I’m sad… Also, obvious. But let’s throw in my OCD… First let me say that OCD is different for everyone. Everyone latches onto different things etc. My big thing with OCD is I latch onto thoughts/feelings.
So take the depression and OCD together—now I’m completely consumed with why I’m sad. Then take anxiety and OCD—now I’m drowning in whatever crazy thoughts had run across my mind in the previous days of my life. Now, take all three and put them together (obviously all three will not always be bad at once. But sometimes they are, so I am giving you this example anyway)—I am now in a ball wrapped in covers wondering why in the hell I was thrown into the fire that is mental illness.
So now that that is cleared up… Sleep. Due to the fact that I can’t find the off switch to my head, sleep comes at the most random times. If I’m not doing anything in the moment, I’m going to take the opportunity given to me, and sleep.
I feel like I’m not able to sleep at night because of how vulnerable I am in those hours when one is supposed to be sleeping. Every single thing that I was able to push out of the way during the day has been sitting and waiting, patiently in the back of my mind for night to come. That’s when it attacks.
I know it’s coming every time and I don’t know how to stop it. I’m starting to think that maybe I’m not supposed to stop it. Maybe instead of trying so hard to shut it out, I need to shut up and listen to it. Maybe this entire time I’ve been trying to tell myself something and I’m too afraid to listen.
But you see, I also know that to a certain extent that is very false. That is my mental illness speaking. I continue to go back and forth between what I should or shouldn’t do—the outcome has always been me just doing nothing.
So now I ask myself this: why is it that we find ourselves surrendering to the pain of our lives? Why do we find it so hard to sit back and be thankful for the things that we do have instead of regretting the things that we don’t. Life wouldn’t be life without the heartache and the pain.
I may only be 18 years old but I know what it’s like to love and be loved. To be manipulated and confused. To hate and despise. To regret and strive. I know what it’s like to wake up every day and wonder why I’m here on this earth. To sleepwalk through years of my life and look back after the fact not having a single memory from dire points of those years. I’ve missed an entire year of school because of anxiety. I’ve gone days with no sleep and no human contact. I’ve had best friends who I thought were forever until they were suddenly strangers. Promises have been broken and some are still yet to be.
But why? I’m only eighteen and I’ve felt all of these things and have had so many experiences. What is the point of it all?
Despite all of these “bad” things I’ve dealt with, I’ve also had many good. I’ve been blessed with two loving parents and a family that never stops motivating me. I have an evil little brother who I can always count on. I have a best friend that never fails to make me smile and a dog that gives me unconditional love. I’ve been blessed with an athletic ability that has allowed me to play every sport available to me and succeed in them. I’m healthy and I’m strong. I always fight back for myself and the people I care about.
I have all the reasons in the world to curl up in a corner and hide myself from this world and the hurt that it brings. But I’m not. I refuse.
Instead I’m choosing to continue and push through the days where I’ve had no sleep, and the nights where my worries are shooting at me in all directions. I’m going to do something good with all of the bad I’ve been given.
So, regardless of how hard it gets to put myself out there like this, I’m not going to stop.
I’ve decided that I am going to post every day until January 1st, regardless if it’s 100 words or 2,000 words—I’m going to post something. I’m making a vow to myself right here, at 4am that this is something I need to do. It is something that I will do. I have no idea what’s going to come up in the next couple of weeks in these blogs. But I can’t express how excited I am to find out.