Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Afraid to live. Tuesday, July 27, 2010.
“I’m afraid of getting well. I don't know who I am if I am not like this.” – Krystal, on a depression discussion board
The longer you’ve been depressed or anxious or suicidal, the more foreign the idea of getting better may seem to you. You might have a hard time remembering ever being happy or calm, even though it’s certain that at some point in your life, you were.
You may have formed an identity out of these feelings. Your friends might only know you this way. The only topic of discussion you’re used to might be how bad you feel, how terrible your life is going. And you haven’t functioned in a long while, so expectations of you might be low. If you got better, people might expect more from you. So getting better seems like a scary idea.
If you’re suicidal, the idea of dying might actually be a comforting thought. The idea of living might seem much more frightening. Killing yourself might have been your Plan B for a long time. You haven’t had to worry about planning for the future, because you haven’t planned to be here. So why would you want to get well?
You can see how your mind can trick you into sabotaging your mental health. As they say, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. So while there are some people who try every conceivable measure to heal from depression or anxiety, others cling onto these feelings like a security blanket. Because if you weren’t sad or scared, who would you be?
I promise you that there is a “real” you beneath these feelings. I promise you that the effort of getting well is worth it. And while I’m not there yet myself – I’ve got a long way to go – I know feeling “better” is better than feeling bad.