I am Tired of Flip Flopping Between Depression and Anxiety

Image from Pixabay

It’s 1:34 AM, the 7th day into the trip. I’m at my parents’ house for 3 weeks. Tonight, they’ve been asleep for 3 hours already. Normally, by this time into a trip home, my sleep cycle normalizes and I wake up rested everyday. Today, I can’t fall asleep because of an urge to write.

This is not the “I love writing” type of urge; it’s the “You need to be productive” type of urge. There’s no love here, and so I decided to empty this urge itself onto digital paper.

I have both clinical depression and an anxiety disorder.

Last year, when my depression became the worst it had been and I got the diagnosis, I approached it like a trooper, getting therapy for 3 months and medication for 3 after. In that time, I resolved lingering issues from high-school, forwent the need to impress the father, and resolved a breakup. I’m pretty proud of how I tackled it and the number of personal issues I sorted through.

That’s when the anxiety kicked back in. The need to lose 25 pounds of depression weight, the need to wake up at 5 everyday to be productive, the incessant need to have value through work. I’ve always felt that way, and this time was no different — I handled it… for about 4 months, before I burned out.

The coping mechanisms began again and I developed some mild food addiction, particularly fries. I built a lot of muscle around this time, but didn’t lose fat, so I obtained the stocky frame I have now.

The year has been marked by cycles of low points of depression and high points of anxiety. Weeks of emptiness and suicidal thoughts and purposelessness will be followed by a few weeks of high productivity and happiness, which will give way to exhaustion, muscle pain, and nausea.

Just before this trip, I made another breakthrough by having a difficult conversation with my parents, and I felt a lot of relief after, and I thought, “Now I have solved my anxiety too. I’m free.”

10 days later, here I am writing an article because “I NEED to become a better writer and establish multiple channels of income and build up an online following and create a product I believe in which has to be related to writing and self-development and start selling the product and helping people become the best versions of themselves.” That’s what the inside of my head is like, all the time, every day.

[Edit the day after: This post seems to be very relevant right now. But that’s not how anxiety works — you can’t logic your way out of it, at least not in the short-run.]

My shoulders hurt as I write this. They’re big — the muscle group I’ve developed most this year. I haven’t worked them out in 4 weeks, and right now I feel like I’ve done five sets of side lateral raises with 20kg dumbbells, creating an imbalance between my middle and front deltoid. Did I mention all the fitness research I’ve done this year because I just HAD to lose the depression weight?

Articles are supposed to end with a message of hope, or a solution, or a CTA, or a sales pitch. I have none of those.

There’s no moral to this story. I’m exhausted, and I need help. When I mitigate depression and thoughts of suicide, I overwork and become anxious. When I try to relax and mitigate anxiety, the friction with my ingrained set of ideals causes me to become depressed.

I can only find solace in the fact that now I have written something, my mind will let me go to bed. Perhaps. Right after I find a publication for this piece, of course. Because I NEED to.