Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dealing With Anxiety and Depression

From time to time, I fall into this dark place. Everything suddenly begins to crumble me, whether it's an obligation for school, life or work. All of a sudden, I'm crying and depressed about the fact that I am so anxious about the obligations. I then fall into the trap of not feeling "good enough" by cracking under the constant pressure I put myself under. Whether it may be getting the best grades to ensure I get another semester on Dean's List, adding more things on my resume or making sure I'm doing the best that I can at work, I sometimes begin to feel the weight of it crumble me. I then think "so many people before me have done this, why am I struggling?"
I've dealt with this constant mix of anxiety and depression for about a year now. I'm anxious because I feel like I'm constantly getting spread too thin. I feel depressed because when I'm anxious it's never a good feeling and then I have the nagging voice in my head that says "you'll never be good enough for anything." It's a voice that's cruel and a voice that constantly reminds me I need to be the best of the best.
For those of you who don't know, I'm graduating later than I had planned. The decision was a result of putting my mental health ahead of the need to squish so much in so little time. I had three options: take six classes each semester, take five classes and two summer classes or take three semesters of four classes. I chose the latter because then I can say that I can try my best without having to get completely overwhelmed with my schedule.
I never have regretted that decision, because I know it was the right one for me. Despite the fact it means not graduating with my closest friends from college.  However with school sadly around the corner, I can't help but begin to get anxious. My friends, my really good ones, will be going back to their perspective places around the world and will no longer be a ten minute car ride away. Of course, I have friends that go to my college but losing the friends I am closer to is none the less devasting. I can now longer get frozen yogurt with Gabriel or hang out with Griffin on lazy summer days. In it's place I'll be working the weekends at my school's library (which I'm used to, but I've never worked both weekend days), taking four classes (one of which I've heard was particularly challenging), working at my hometown newspaper as a freelancer and as a Style Guru for College Fashionista. And of course, there's this blog. Additionally, I might be doing an internship for credit, which I'm unsure I'm going to be able to. It's not even school yet, but I'm not sure how I feel about this. Overwhelmed? Anxious? I honestly don't know. I just know I'm not ready to face the fact that once school starts, my break will end and I have to constantly put school before everything else. I will have to face the future, and I will be stressed with deadlines and obligations of things I must do.
It's no secret that school has made me anxious. The thoughts that stream my mind are: Was that paper the best I could have made it? What if I fail that test? I need to get on Dean's List, I need to do better than that and put more effort, and I should be able to handle the stresses of school and work. However, I don't want my life to become a constant string of pushing myself too hard or too thin. It leads to me feeling so anxious about what needs to be done, and then leads to me doing badly. And then I'm depressed that I'm doing badly, and that I'm so overwhelmed with all of this. It's a vicious cycle of trying to be the best, and then failing. The failure leads to depression about it. I don't know if I actually have anxiety or clinical depression, I do know that I feel those emotions quite a bit.
The thing is I need to take care of Natalie. I'm 21 years old, and I still don't know how to do that or make it a priority. And that's something I need to learn. I need to learn that taking a break to write down what I'm feeling is okay because it will make me feel better. I need to do things that requires me to take a step back from my daily responsibilities, whether it's a quick trip to Starbucks, a walk around the block or writing in my journal. As much as it's important to have a good GPA and jobs on my resume, it's also important to not be depressed or anxious all of the time. Sometimes, everyone needs a break to reflect and to take care of themselves. It's a practice that needs to be more important than being the best in show.
I'm currently trying to pull myself on one of my signature Natalie bad moods, or the "mean-reds" as Holly Golightly calls them. Although I'm no longer sobbing on the phone to my friends, I'm still emotional and I'm still depressed. I'm trying to take care of myself, by taking the advice of a dear friend and stepping back. I read a magazine, went to one of my favorite stores and treated myself to a bracelet that helps promote calm. (whether or not it actually does, we'll have to wait and see.) Although it may appear selfish to do so, I deem it as necessary. My mental health needs to be as important to nurse as my physical. I need to give myself a break, be kinder to myself and put my happiness above everything else. (IE friends who constantly bring me down, and all of the things that are important in life) If I am too stressed out, the blog doesn't have to be
At the end of the day, I believe that's what matters more than anything else. My goals for my senior year are to stop worrying about everything under the sun, make taking care of Natalie the first priority and doing the best I can. In my opinion, despite all of my accomplishments, I think that's the best thing I can ever do. 


  1. You are strong, because you are taking effort to counter your anxiety. I hope you'll be able to overcome it. Blogging is a good way to release your anxiousness? Hang in there, girl!

    Claire l Giant Cookie Jar

    1. Aw thank you so much! Blogging definately is, and supportive comments such as yourself truly make my day. Thank you so much for commenting. PS: I love the name of your blog. I'm going to have to check it out.