Why is depression more tolerable than anxiety?

anxietyanddepression

I haven’t been at my best.   My anxiety has really been acting up.   I’m finding it hard to stay mindful and have a positive outlook.   All the tools I learned to stay mindful and avoid the worst of Complex PTSD are almost useless.

I can never relax.  I’ve been filled with a free floating sense of awful, black dread.  I can’t take naps in the middle of the day like I used to, or even sleep in late because at some point I feel like my heart is slamming in my throat and I’m jumping out of my skin.    Often I wake up early in the morning with a jolt, all that oppressive black anxiety weighing down on me like a lead blanket, and I almost feel like I can’t breathe.   Sometimes it’s so intense it borders on full blown panic.

Some of my anxiety is very specific:

  • Worry about the future of our country under the current president;
  • Worry about my personal freedom and rights as I get older, especially since I’m what most would consider poor and under this horrific regime, I will be VERY vulnerable to exploitation or early death from lack of social security, Medicare or other old age benefits that older generations took for granted;
  • Worry about what will happen to my children (or any children they have) should we become a real dictatorship;
  • Worry that the payout from my insurance company won’t be enough to allow me to buy any kind of decent vehicle, which I need for work;
  • Worry about my daughter’s new husband not being capable of providing sufficiently for her or any children they have.
  • Worry about a likely move in the future: will I be able to afford it?
  • Worry that one of my adult children will be in a terrible accident and possibly die;
  • Worry that my own family is using me financially and talking badly about me behind my back (this is probably the most irrational fear I have).    I know this is due to my past as a victim of narcissistic abuse.  When I’m very anxious and triggered, I have a hard time trusting people, even people I know aren’t out to hurt me.

There’s also the free floating, nameless anxiety I’ve lived with all my life, magnified by my specific (and possibly even rational) fears.   It’s this overwhelming feeling that something awful is about to happen, though I have no idea what.

All that anxiety is debilitating, and yes, it’s painful.   It’s hard to function properly or maintain healthy relationships when you’re constantly fretting or ruminating about something that might happen in the future — or might not.    I irritate my family because of my constant need for reassurance that I’m not being used or they are not going to be doing something dangerous that will get them hurt or killed.   I get annoyed easily at work and just in general.   I snap at others, not because I’m angry, but because I’m so anxious all the time.

There have even been days I’ve contemplated suicide (though I know I won’t actually do it) just to escape from the oppressiveness of all this anxiety and dread.

Every so often though, my anxiety gives way to depression.    I know that depression is actually worse than anxiety because it means you have given up.   You’re no longer fighting (anxiety definitely feels like you’re fighting for your life sometimes).  Oddly enough it feels almost…comforting.    When I’m depressed, I can just lie in bed or in front of the TV and not feel like my heart’s about to slam right out of my chest.   I feel no guilt about being so slothful.   When I’m depressed, I can actually sleep and escape my emotional hell through dreams, or just the oblivion of featureless slumber.   I can find food comforting even though I can barely taste it.    Though tears come rarely, when they do, it feels cathartic.

But mostly, when I’m depressed, it’s like boredom turned up to 11.    Depression is very, very boring.   There are elements of sadness and sometimes grief, but more than anything else, depression is boring.   Yet, I have no urge to do anything to relieve the boredom, except maybe sleep or eat.   The boredom is there, and while it’s intense, it isn’t painful or intolerable the way normal boredom is, the kind of boredom that makes you have to go DO something about it immediately.   It’s just there, like gray wallpaper.

When I’m depressed, I don’t suffer much (or any) anxiety or dread, because in my mind, the bad thing has already happened.  Even though my belief it already happened may be irrational, I’ve emotionally succumbed and accepted it.

It’s like that moment you know you are going to die.   You go through your whole life fearing death, but when you’re finally face to face with it, staring into its infinite maw, knowing there’s nothing you can do, your fear disappears and you just accept you’re going to die at this moment, right here and now.  I know this is true because when I was 18 I got raped.  The man had a knife, and I thought he was going to kill me.   At one point, I was sure I was a goner, and at that moment a strange calm took over and I just accepted this was how I was going to leave this earth.  Obviously it didn’t happen, but I remember that sense of peaceful calm and acceptance.

That’s what happens when I’m depressed.  It’s like I’ve already accepted something that might not even have happened and may never happen.    No, of course it isn’t healthy, but it’s oddly comforting and far more tolerable to me than the almost constant high level of anxiety I’m forever doing battle with.

 

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Being Lazy…

A great essay about my favorite activity! Please follow Cyranny’s Cove!

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Cyranny's Cove

unnamed

Mouahahahahaha…  What an image!

I have a lot of things to do. Some cleaning around the appartment, snow shoveling of the back balcony and stairs. I have some shopping to do, and I could cook a little to have lunches ready for the upcomming days of work. Am I doing any of the previously mentionned? No…

I am comfortably lying on the couch, and made sure not to want to get up by wrapping myself in my favorite blanket, and bringing big cushions for my back… I decided to draw myself a hot bath, meaning I can’t clean clothes right away, because the washer and dryer are in the bathroom, and the sound they make interfere with me trying to relax. (Ok, I am already pretty relaxed already, but still… Can’t be too relax, right?)

I am eating Genoa Salami considering kicking myself in the b*tt to be more productive…

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The worst thing about depression.

depression_meme

A meme I just made to express how I feel right now.

Lucky Otters Haven has a new look.

Sample of colorful paint. Cans of red, yellow, blue and green paint.

Boredom isn’t always the devil’s playground.     Sometimes boredom is so intolerable it can lead you to desperate actions to rid yourself of its special kind of pain–actions like, hmm…getting falling down drunk, hitting the mall and buying a bunch of stuff you don’t even want, sleeping the day away, eating an entire roll of chocolate chunk cookie dough, watching Internet porn, having sex with strangers, building a giraffe made out of toothpicks, crafting a voodoo doll of your narcissist ex (hey, if anyone has ever done this, can you post a picture of it, pretty please?), or…remodeling your blog.

So that’s what I did.   I’m too scared to change my whole theme yet (I’m still on Twenty Ten) because of my (probably irrational) phobia about losing everything or the slightly more likely nightmare of my blog becoming FUBAR, or at the very least, all my Shares and Likes disappearing. But t I did make some pretty drastic changes within the same theme: the title font, the background, the header graphic, the sub-header, and the color scheme.

I think this look is more eye catching and the fonts and font background colors easier to read.  I also think the new sub-head (up in the header graphic) fits my new focus–while I still will cover personality disorders (especially Cluster B disorders), narcissistic abuse, and healing,  I realize that only about 60-70% of my posts have much or anything to do with those topics.   I cover a lot of other topics that interest, inspire, or entertain me too, and have been doing so for awhile.  So I wanted a sub-header that might attract followers and readers who just like general purpose blogs that have a lot of different kinds of content.

I also took the apostrophe out of Otters, so now the title is Lucky Otters Haven instead of Lucky Otter’s Haven.  I think the look is cleaner, and it isn’t ungrammatical either, because I know I’m not the only otter here swimming up from the dark and murky waters of a traumatic past.  I kept the word “borderline” in there because it’s an important part of this blog’s focus and my recovery, but it’s far from being my only focus. I wanted to draw less attention to BPD being an affliction, even though it is (BPD is to Marburg Virus what NPD is to Ebola) and more to the unusual and sometimes surreal vantage point it gives me when looking at myself and this crazy, horrible, and wonderful world I find myself a part of.

I hope everyone likes the facelift and new attitude. Please feel free to let me know if you think it could be even better or even if you hate it.   I do listen to suggestions and unlike real otters, I don’t bite (well not usually, anyway).

On September 10th, this blog will be entering its Terrible Twos!

I can hardly believe it’s been that long and at the same time, it seems like I’ve been doing this forever.   That’s next weekend.  I’ll be doing a big post about all the changes Lucky Otter’s Haven  has gone through since its inception, including screenshots (thanks to The Wayback Machine) of what this blog has looked like over time since September 2014.