If you are a big Supernatural (the TV show) fan like me, well I hope you understand my comparison here. If you are not a Supernatural fan, but you have anxiety and depression you will probably still understand a good chunk of this. If neither and want to understand someone you care about with anxiety and/or depression, feel free to email me at JenniTheJedi@gmail.com or send me a message on my facebook page and I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. ;P Either way, keep smiling!
First let me give you two perspectives: You are a barista at a coffee shop and a customer asks you for the favorite cinnamon pastry. You go over to the pastry case to grab said pastry. Uh-oh! You’re all out and no one communicated this, because hey it gets busy. You now have to tell the customer you are actually out of their choice of sugary goodness. To an average person, it’s not a big deal. You go over to the customer and explain you are out of the pastry and offer them something else and move on with your life. It’s a damn pastry, so what? – To someone who struggles with anxiety and depression it’s a little different. You’re stomach now hurts, and you are thinking of ways to explain to the customer you are out of the pastry, but you cannot find a way to explain to them without being a barer of bad news. You feel you are going to ruin their day now, over a pastry. Your brain and your body freeze. Your heart being palpitating, you start to hyperventilate and you feel the same as if your mom just middle named you and she is pissed as hell. Now you cannot stop crying. Your co-worker has to help you to the employee area to calm down, because you cannot move. They deal with the customer, and now you feel like an utter failure because you couldn’t do your job…the job you have been doing for four years, and the day before you had no problem dealing with a similar situation. You know it is not a big deal. However for some reason your brain is telling you how awful you are, how much a failure you must be…and then it doubles. Now you have to go back out, and deal with the stares (that you are not even getting) from your coworkers, customers, and well the world, because clearly the world knows.
Anxiety and Depression. Two demons that are good friends. They thrive on driving us humans crazy, making us feel crazy, and even appear crazy. Sometimes they choose certain humans to latch themselves onto and suffocate in their drowning powers.
These demons are not easy to shake. It’s not like a ghost that you can just tell to go away and leave you alone. It’s not like your phone you can just turn off. It’s not like a friend on social media that you can just block and never see their posts again. It’s a demon, that doesn’t give a shit about what you want, what your friends want; it just wants to try and take over your life and be a constant annoyance. It wants to make you feel alone, helpless, lost, confused, obsessive, blindly moving through the darkness, barely existing. They make you feel so heavy, some days you just don’t even want to leave the comfort of your bed; for the fear of other people, or simply living is extra terrifying when you have them living with you. They act like those unwanted roommates that never let you be. It is overwhelmingly exhausting to deal with them every single day. Sometimes you just “literally can’t even”. (A phrase which too many white girls overuse without understanding the meaning.) You live with the constant voices in your head telling you the girl you have been friends with for a while now hates you, (she doesn’t – she hates the demons trying to consume you). They tell you that your boyfriend you are in love with, hates you, never liked you, and never wants you around (he loves you back, he probably just doesn’t understand what is really going on and is really worried but doesn’t know how to “fix it”). They try to convince you that your circle of friends never really wanted you in their group, that your just a tag along, (don’t worry, they love you and your presence, and think you’re great!) They even try and convince you that you’re just a burden to your family, and others, (you are not a burden!)
Depression and anxiety have a way of being very convincing and it is hard to not believe them. It’s hard to convince yourself against their words, because you feel like you are in denial and just lying to yourself. But with these demons, you have to keep fighting them off. Sometimes it can be easy to shake them. But it is usually hard, until you have a full toolbox of tools for fighting them.
The first step is to breath.
The second step is tell yourself that you are okay. Everything is going to be okay. Keep breathing!
The third is to communicate. You have to make sure you don’t let the demons convince you to lock the people that care the most about you out. (The people that anxiety and depression tell you to run away from – the people that piss you off the most because they miss you and just want to make sure you are okay.) Don’t slam the door in their face, granted the good ones will try to understand that you are in a hard battle.
The next step? Grab your sword, a flash light and extra batteries, a few snacks for the road, and a hell of a lot of water. It’s going to be a long ass winding road – full of booby traps; twists and turns; good guys and bad guys; thunderstorms, hurricanes and twisters; and oh yeah it is going to be darker than night, darker than dark.
If you are a Supernatural (the TV show) fan, then it is a lot like that. It is a constant battle that just seems to get harder and harder, more complicated, more twisted, and you just seem to keep losing everyone you love because of the monsters and demons that never give you a break. You have to find yourself the person who is your Sam (or your Dean – depending on your personality). Sometimes you need a Bobby, to give you that paternal advice, with a lot of tough love.
Sam and Dean face a lot of challenging battles with demons and monsters from myths and lore; and it is even more challenging for them, because the monsters, and especially the demons, like to challenge the brotherly love that they share. The demons try to get into their heads to make Sam/Dean go against the other, their father, and their loved ones as well as the human race. For example, when the series starts out they are trying to track down and fight off the yellow eyed demon that killed their mother. This particular demon is a highly ranked demon, who tries to turn the family against each other, takes away anyone and everyone the brothers have ever loved. He used other demons, disguises himself as loved ones, and throws many curve balls at the boys. The boys fought day after day to make the yellow eyed demon nightmare end! When it was over they had a big sigh of relief, then their world came even more crumbling down. They were up against the entire apocalypse of human existence, and it was up to them as “hunters” to stop it. They did eventually stop the apocalypse, but still had demons, the king of hell, angels, and other random lore monsters to fight.
The similarity here is that a person who struggles with anxiety and/or depression has a constant fight. To get up in the morning, to talk to their loved ones, to keep breathing, to keep fighting, to keep living. It is never an easy battle, most especially when you just got out of one battle and are thrown into another one! No matter how big or small a battle is or seems to be, it is exhausting; and sometimes we are the only ones who can get ourselves away from the front lines. However, we always need our support system of loved ones and role models to give us a reason to keep fighting. To learn our coping skills, to remember to keep breathing, and fight through the tears, the fears, and all of the fire balls coming at us.