I’ve spent the past several years waiting for the other shoe to drop. Metaphorically speaking, one could say that I’ve been privy to an entire bougie shoe store full of the other shoes dropping.
A year ago, you know, when we were whisked into lockdown by a global pandemic, it seemed like the entire contents of the boots section fell on my head.
Specifically boots because… well because boots. But also because while it was painful and scary, there was also a part of me that was like, “Oh wow! Look at all this time I get to spend at home without coming into contact with other people!” Talk about feeding my introvert fire.
The situation was a lot like me looking at boots and thinking that I want every single pair of them. But really one can only put so many pairs of boots to good use. Or so I’ve been told. Again. And again. And where are you going to keep them all when they’re not on your feet? I only have two feet which means I already have quite a few pairs of boots on shelves, flung behind the sofa, or hiding under my bed. Or, you know, wherever they happened to fall.
Almost a year later, I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in that pile of boots, unable to come up for air from beneath the weight of something that in moderation is so very appealing.
And while I am super good and fully understanding that everyone thinks differently, that brains can work differently, that everyone is a world unto themselves and deserves to be given the grace to work in their best way… I sometimes forget to remind myself that I’m a person and I should observe that same level of grace and understanding for myself.
And so it’s with that in mind that I tell you that the forever anxious Cami is also very very sad right now. I feel a weight of hopelessness at the moment that I wouldn’t like to feel. And it is very hard for me to tell myself that nothing is wrong with me right now. Because something is wrong. I’m anxious and sad. And all the carefully implemented strategies I have in place for being my optimal self can sometimes do nothing when you’re feeling a set of feelings that are too big to carry on your own.
Well, on my own.
So I’m doing the things I know I need to do. All of them. I could make a list but I’d leave something off and then I would just feel terrible about that and I might spiral and find myself feeling even worse so I won’t. But I will tell you that I’ve talked to my friends who very much made me feel that it is okay that I’m not okay. They didn’t normalize my depression in a harmful way. They brought up, some of them, they they’re feeling these feelings too. They’re down in funky town with me. They’ve reminded me that things are gross and hard right now. And it’s February. And we’re still in a pandemic. And I don’t have to be magically better just because it’s the same shit I’ve been going through for a year.
And I told my partner and he was… well I think he’s been reading too many articles on how to be supportive of those with anxiety and depression because he was absolutely perfect. I’d be annoyed by it if it wasn’t so perfectly what I needed from him. So there’s that.
And yes I am taking my meds. And yes I’m totally drinking water. And yes I’ve tried yoga. And meditation. And don’t tell me to just be happy because that’s dumb and it doesn’t work that way.
So you can fuck right off, dollar store Bobby McFerrin.
Ahem. You probably know that already, dear reader. I apologize for snapping at you. As I said… I’m feeling a lot of things right now. Mostly all of them. But not so much the happy happy ones.
Which brings me to the part of this post where I talk about why I’m writing this post. Where I assure you that I am okay. Where I explain that I am so privileged to have an exceptional support system of people I love and who love me. That though I am so very fucking sad and all I want to do is watch tv and sleep for a week, I am safe. I am okay. And also I know a lot of folx who are going through things similar to what I’m going through and that really helps me feel seen. And it helps me to know that it’s okay not to feel okay for a little while.
And it totally reminds me to take care of myself and get the support I need.
But not everyone with anxiety and depression knows all that. Or has accepted all that. Or can look to those they know to see that it’s not their fault they feel that way. So if that’s you, if you’re feeling that, this is me popping up to say “it’s not just you!”
And if your friend or loved one is seeming to have an extra hard time right now, you’re not the only one with a friend who is having an extra hard time right now. But you might be the only one who noticed. Help where you can. Be kind to others. Remember, even if you think you know what’s going on with someone else you’re only seeing part of it. This kind of thing is like an iceberg. The part of it you can see is only a fraction of what’s happening beneath the surface. Which reminds me that our concepts of icebergs are patently false. Which also makes me sad.
But I find a small bit of joy in realizing that you do need pretty special boots to deal with an iceberg…
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, anger or any combination thereof please reach out for help. To a friend, to your family, a doctor, clergy member, or a counselor. You can call 1-877-726-4727 (Monday – Friday 8am to 8pm) for help locating mental health services available to you in your area.
If you feel overwhelmed and like you may harm yourself you can find local resources to help you here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call the National Suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255 (24 hours a day 7 days a week).