Friday, September 24, 2010

anxiety or depression?

which is worse? usually i'm incapacitated by anxiety -- sweaty, can't focus, heart racing. it's hard to do anything when you can't even breathe. when i'm in it, i'd tell you it's the worst.

then along comes depression. thud. depression's not my usual default. but this week - thud. it's hard to do anything when you can't even move. now that i'm in it, i tell you it's the worst.

had a good therapy session after work, and feel somewhat better. my therapist says it's good for me to tolerate discomfort -- it's something i've never really done -- i either binged or starved or took drugs or drank or acted out in some ways that felt like a drug.

it makes sense that i need to learn to tolerate. everyone gets bored or scared, and that's life.

i'm kind of proud that i'm not lying, not drinking, going to AA, going to work. i never did many of those things at the same time before.

i am not drinking, once again, but it's not that hard this time. i don't want a drink. i want a fuller life, a more interesting job, intellectual stimulation, laughter and a little more fun.

but in the interim, i'm going to work and blogging and going to AA. those are good things.

my therapist asked me to write three things i'm grateful for on my blog. a gratitude list seems like just the thing at the moment:

1. IT'S FRIDAY. i couldn't be happier about that!!! Yippee. Yippee

2. i am grateful that i didn't lie today and i didn't drink today

3. it was a beautiful day, and i sat outside for a whole hour at lunch

so, i wonder -- which do you think is worse - depression or anxiety. AND what three things are you grateful for today?


  1. First about being "kind of proud" that you're doing things like going to AA, not lying, etc. I think you should be extremely proud of how far you've come, because it's absolutely awesome and takes a lot of strength. Yay you! (Just my input. I hope that's appropriate) :)

    I think the anxiety is the worst. It's so hard for me to come out of an anxiety attack... they can last for hours on end. When I get really depressed, it's a lot more gradual (as opposed to the anxiety attacks where they are sudden and last forever). But, they are both terrible in the moment. Thank goodness for great therapists, and great things like that.

    My gratitude list:
    1. my therapist.
    2. my mother, who understood me for the first time today
    3. being able to go to college next year. (yay!)


  2. I agree with S.A., you should be extremely proud of yourself :)

    This might sound strange, but sometimes I think my depression is the only thing that balances out my anxiety, and my anxiety is the only thing that balances out my depression. It's tough to say which one is worse...

    I love gratitude lists :)

    Today, I am thankful for
    1. harvest moons
    2. park benches
    3. the words of others


  3. You are doing so well! I'm so happy for that!
    I've struggled through depression and anxiety for most of my life. Even when I'm not depressed, I get anxious about being depressed again (like waiting for another shoe to drop). For me, they are both awful, but depression feels more stagnant, paralyzing. Anxiety just makes me annoyed, ie "Why can't I calm the f**k down?" It's a see-saw kind of thing, but I've felt more stable the past few months than I have in a long, long time.

  4. It depends which one you're in at the time, in regards to which is worse. Each one is the wrong tempo to life isn't it? One you slow to a grinding, gnawing crawl. And the other, you speed up to a point where you just can't catch up with yourself, you meet yourself coming back infact. Both just wrong ways to be.

    Do you find abstaining from anything altering makes these things easier or worse? I'm in the same boat where I'm giving it all up for the sake of my sanity. Sometimes I win, but mostly I lose. Especially when you realise you've not really gone anywhere in the time of numbing yourself senseless. Even though you're somehow convinced you have.

    Much love.

  5. S.A. thank you for the encouragement. i feel like i'm just doing what i've been supposed to be doing all along. finally. oohhhh, it's hard.

    i'm glad your mom was there for you. and your therapist sounds great. yay for that!

    Nicole; thank you for coming by the blog. that's an interesting point - depression balancing anxiety and vice versa. i think the combination just makes me that much more inert. i've had periods when i felt neither, and i really liked that!

    Kim; you've sounded so stable the last few months -- such inpiration! i think, because i'm in a depressed mode, i feel like depression is the worst. it's like there's a huge weight on my head, and it's all too much to even stand up. i keep lying on the couch. kind of funny, actually.

    VV; THANK YOU for writing. it helps to hear from someone who's in the same boat. having no "vices" leaves everything just hanging out there to feel and experience. now what???? it's well....terrifying. and depressing - how did i get here? how come i've done nothing with my life?

    but i'm sticking with it. this seems the only way to have a chance. at least i'm not drinking or drugging or acting out. seems like a start.

  6. And at the moment, I'm grateful for gravity for keeping me grounded, otherwise I might blow away.

  7. I agree with the others - you should be very proud! You are doing so well.

    As for anxiety vs depression, I'll take anxiety any day. Anxiety keeps me productive, functioning, well, over-achieving. Depression makes me want to die, or at the very least, stay in bed all day.

    I was pretty thin when anxiety was my only problem. That was a good side effect. Crazy thinking, isn't it?

  8. VV: indeed, great point. baths are solace, right now.

    Harriet; i got very thin when i was beside myself last spring. usually, stress leads me to the fridge, but i was sooo stressed i couldn't even get food past my throat. i thought it was a pretty good side effect too. crazy, indeed.

    i'm really not liking depression. i doooo want to stay in bed all the time. who has the energy to stand up? i push myself for a while then just give up and go to bed. hope this passes soon!