Trigger warning: depression, anxiety, suicide mentions
Confession: I am a human who was gifted with high functioning anxiety.
I was born with anxiety. Okay, was I born WITH anxiety or was I born INTO anxiety? I often ponder this question. Either way, I’ve never known a life without it.
Anxiety has always been a constant for me. Almost like a toxic best friend who’s always been there for me. Something I can revert back to every time things get a little messy. Something that has shaped my life and spurred me on – because there’s nothing more fucking scary than anxiety thoughts of failure/rejection/abandonment.
And I’ve always worked over-time to compensate. Always being the most attentive person to friends, always trying to be the most selfless person to others, going out of my way to try to be lovable to significant others so they don’t leave me, perfecting every law assignment ever so I get a placement thing and get a grad job and everyone knows I succeeded and praises me and thinks I’m wonderful and capable and just the beacon of everything good and desirable so I’ll have heaps of friends and admirers and fans. Doing law in the first place HAHA.
It’s almost like the hardest part of anxiety isn’t the anxiety itself but the compensating to appear normal. Like… to the point where no one has ever realised I have anxiety. Or that I’m suffering so hard I go to bed crying and then have anxiety dreams about failing and people leaving me and being alone forever with just my best friend anxiety by my side keeping me in check.
No one could ever tell the shear self-discipline it takes every day to get up and go to work when you’re absolutely convinced that everyone hates you but pretends to like you because you’re understaffed secretly. As in, you know that you’re not understaffed but anxiety is like yep, definitely you are secretly understaffed so they haaaaaveeee to keep you around but they actually all hate you. You are shit at your job despite all the compliments from customers or clients. Your manager hates you despite the fact she constantly tells you that you have a cute brain and buys you doughnuts (cheers Sarah).
Anxiety is ironing your clothes because there’s a crease in the back of your shirt that you know is going to get crumpled by your ass as soon as you sit on the train. But you have to iron it and make sure it’s perfect. Then you’ll check when you get to work to see if there is a crease and when there is you’ll spend all day trying to hide it because obviously everyone is looking at it, DUH!
Anyway, I am officially titling myself the most anxious person around. But high-functioning. People are like “OMG Codii how the fuck do you do life so well? Tell me your secrets!! How, like you’re just so good at everything.” Yeh, because if I’m not good at everything I’m shit and I should kill myself because no one wants me and I can’t even do simple tasks well. HAHAHAHAHA. My life.
Also, I fucking love compliments about how good I am. How well I am doing. How intelligent I am. I livvvvveeeeeeee for that shit. That shit right there – the gooood shit – that just fuels the anxiety even more! Don’t let the world know this is all some kind of fucking joke life where you are a slave to appearing perfect. Don’t let the world know you are human. You are A+ insta worthy human. Oh, but you don’t have instagram because that would show you are not A+ insta worthy human because a TRUUUUUEEEE A+ insta worthy got shit together human wouldn’t have insta. No, they’d be too busy reading classic literature or slaving 7am – 8am to make shit happen. You know this, you can’t keep up with that type of lifestyle so you lay low. It’s all a rouse.
This was my life until February 2016.
I was also depressed, and low key always have been but anxiety is kind of the opposite. It’s hard to be anxious and succeeding while also dying to die and be nothing. So the anxiety would definitely always take charge and spur me along to the next fucking careers fair.
February 2016 in the most defining period of my life thus far.
My boyfriend of two years broke up with me. 1 like = 1 prayer. I was already depressed and anxious because I didn’t have a grad law job, even though I never applied for any because I knew I wouldn’t get in and that would make me feel worse so I did that procrastination thing where you think about the thing 25/7 but end up not doing because too anxious but then you’re sooo anxious because you didn’t do the thing.
Life had no meaning but I was hiding the depression really well. My bf love of my life HAHAHAHAHAH broke up with me for another girl or something something. I kind of phrase it like he saw an opportunity for a new girlfriend, he talked to her for a month before we broke up grooming her to love him and then he broke up with inconvenience that was me. So it was a really opportunistic and selfish thing because he really did keep me around until the Thursday he broke up with me and the Saturday he fucked her. But he maintains that he never cheated on me or did wrong by me.
Depressed and fed up with being riddled with anxiety I just needed an escape. Depression was like “Well, well, well, friend, there’s this thing called death. Not has dramatic as you think though. It stops you from existing. Which is what you want, right? You want a break from this life thing, right?” Seemed legit.
This was the toughest time of my life. I was alone in Brisbane with what felt like nothing. I was so lonely and I’d call my mum a lot of times a day crying hysterically. When I wasn’t talking to my mum I was also crying hysterically.
Mum forced me to go home for a week or something and I hated it so much. I couldn’t talk, I hated my family. I actually think I was distancing myself just preparing for death. I didn’t want to make connections and fond memories. I was too exhausted, sad and ready for this new chapter of my life: death.
All I wanted to do was go back to Brisbane. Anxiety was telling me that I couldn’t be weak around other people. I just needed to get home and go back to crying alone all day. Mum was begging me to stay. As in like crying hysterically telling me she didn’t want her oldest kid to go and kill herself, which she knew was what was going to happen. And I was like nah fuck you, fuck everything I’m going you can’t stop me I’m a big girl.
I went back to Brisbane and the same shit kept up. Oh, but I read a lot of buddhist books both at home and when I got back to Brisbane.
Throughout this whole time mum was convincing me I needed anti-depressants. She told me she was making me an appointment and I was being forced to go. I told her if she did that I’d kill myself because the appointment. I’m not kidding, I was so fucking serious. She never did make the appointment. We both knew how serious I was.
Also, not taking anti-depressants was a huge FUCK YOU to everyone who thought I needed them. Fuck them, I didn’t want to prove them right. Why the fuck would I wanna do that? I was actually so fucked up in the brain that when I look back on this time it most feels manic now. So manic.
Okay, so preparing for death ensued. I did feel guilty though because I have a very close family of four gals, three of which being younger siblings. Anxiety was saying no way, you won’t be this great role model if you go and die loser. So the compromise between my depression and anxiety was that I’d prove everyone wrong by seeing a psych and going on anti-depressants so that why when I did die it would be a “Check mate proved you wrong. I’m a lost cause.”
Sorry to say. They were right.
I forced myself to make a doctors appointment. This was mainly because I had got down to 48kgs, wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping, couldn’t stop crying even at work, felt like a shell without the peanut inside. That’s a cute reference omg I’m dying what a cute reference did I think of. Good job me.
I explained the break up and she’s like yeh yeh you’re a high functioning anxiety case but nah you’ll be right. You are just situationally depressed or something like that. So she reckoned I was just being a sook about the break-up basically. She gave me a mental illness plan and referred me to Headspace next door. I left so happy because look a professional even is telling me I’m not really depressed!!! I’m right idiots!!!
I was doing an intensive at uni for practical legal training. I took a phone call from headspace and I remember moving soooo far away from everyone around me. I needed a 20km radius away from any of my peers to take this phone call in which they asked how anxious and depressed I was. I lied and said I was fine and that I just wanted help managing my anxiety. The guy gave me an appointment in two weeks or something. Two more weeks of torture.
I thought the first appointment would be the psych appointment and it’d all get started but turns out it was “intake”. So gross. It was with this really nice and approachable lady who asked me questions like “do you think about killing yourself and if so, how often?” She was just so disgustingly normal and nice and young and she clearly was internally thinking I was a fuckhead sook (cheers anxiety). I couldn’t speak at all and I remember not mentioning the break up at all. But she just kept fucking probing and I broke. BROKE THE FUCK DOWN. I was balling and saying how I wasn’t going to try, I’d told myself before I came. But I was like fuck it I’m in this position time to cry it all out and tell everything. I told her all my life problems and then she was like “okay bye” or something to that effect. It was like telling someone the most intimate things ever and then they go okay thanks for coming, have a nice day. She said I’d have an appointment to see a psych in 4-6 weeks. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? I told her I want to kill myself and I think about it daily and I can’t eat and vomit every day from crying and anxiety and she tells me that I can tell a new person about it in 4-6 weeks. The most hilarious part was that she gave me this information sheet with numbers to call if I felt suicidal and couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Bitch, wasn’t that why I fucking showed up to this place in desperation in the first place?? She made me promise I’d call them. Yeh whatever satan. This is further evidence no one cares and I need to die.
I called mum as soon as I got outside the place. She needed to know I was beyond help and that 4-6 weeks was too long to deal with myself and this torture and pain. She was even like WTF IS LIFE? HOW IS THIS REAL. I broke down ugly crying in public saying how it’s clear no one cares. Evidence no one cares.
I made it 4-6 weeks, surprisingly. I was probably just clinging on to that hope that in 4-6 weeks I’d be magically cured by this magic person everyone said I should see, and forced me to see.
As soon as I saw the lady I absolutely hated her. She seemed so slow in that “I prescribe myself meds and actively abuse them” type of way. She was definitely on something. Also, she was so irrelevant to my life from my judging her that I didn’t even take note of her name.
She made me do some test thing and said I was severely depressed and anxious. She probed me about my life and I had to fucking re-tell my story all over again. WITH MORE TEARS THAN BEFORE. All of the tears. All of the crying.
She said some good shit though. She said that I’m too judgemental. She also said that something or someones worth is not based on the opinions of other people. THIS IS STILL THE BEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD. Because on any given day I was only as worthwhile as people had made me feel. But not like actually valuable people to my life but people like a check out person. If a check out person looked at me in a shitty way that was evidence that I was a piece of shit who shouldn’t exist. If a friend let down it was evidence that I wasn’t valuable and shouldn’t exist.
She also said I needed anti-depressants. I was like FUCK NO. But she kind of convinced me. She said that they’d give me brain a break so that I could focus on doing things to get better. I was like wow this really fucking makes logical sense. She explained that meds wouldn’t just magically cure me from all of this inner shit but that they’d help my brain function so that I would want to see people, leave the house, self care, become “myself” again. I gave in and booked an appointment with the on-site doctor.
Succumbing to the drugs
I was prescribed with prozac AKA fluoxetine. It’s super common. I have hard evidence of this because I read that it’s one of the most popular 100 prescriptions at chemist warehouse HAHAHAHAHAH see, hard evidence. Facts. Science.
I absolutely fucking wanted to kill this doctor because she was an hour late which triggers the fuck out of my anxiety. As soon as I got into the room she’s like “okay pick a card” FROM A FUCKING TAROT DECK. How the fuck could I trust this women when she’s also trying to be a tarot reader???? Anxiety made me believe professionalism meant knowledge and skill. I picked a card to shut this idiot up and it was something about healing, seeking help and acknowledging shit. I went “hmm” but I was actually super impressed with the coincidence of being in the fucking doctors room getting anti-d’s up in this binch.
I told her that I 100% did not trust her and that I was going home to research these meds before I even thought of taking them. She’s like “go ahead”. MISSION ACCEPTED. This was because I told her I didn’t want anti-d’s because you always hear of horror side effect stories or tales of addiction. She told me this one had like zero chance of becoming addicted. I did what any self-sufficient human would do and wikipedia’ed prozac. Turns out that yeh, it’s actually really non-addictive and highly prescribed because it works to treat anxiety, depression and basically every other mental illness ever.
Every time I took the meds I’d get this electic sensation in my body and I’d start dry-retching for a while. I was also SO.TIRED.LORD.HELP.ME. Now that I look back on this I was also suffering from glandular fever unknowingly and probably in the grips of chronic fatigue anyway. But I went to a doctor like I AM SO TIRED. But he looked it up, probably on google because doctors are actually so shit, and said that the major side effect of this med was tiredness. He said to give it six weeks and it magically then all goes away. Turns out, it did! Yay!
Okay, I’m heaps tired and my fingers hurt from typing so I’m going to leave this on a cliff-hanger. Did it work? Am I still alive? Am I still on meds? Do I know the psychs name? Would I recommend anti-d’s?
I love you.
Goodnight sweet prince.