It’s the proverbial question.
Did my anxiety beget my depression? Or am I worried how things will turn out because of my depression?
Worry-wort. My own worst enemy. Always running things through my head. So sensitive. Beating a dead horse. All of these are terms used to describe me at one time or another.
I do have a tendency to perseverate. I can’t let things go. I worry them like a dog with a bone that is impervious to bite marks. It’s not productive. It’s not reassuring. It’s a form of torment actually.
In college, after my roommate had left for the weekend, I would lie on my top bunk and stare out the window, wondering why I couldn’t go out and round up new friends as easily as everyone else seemed to be doing. I would watch the sun set, thinking how alone I was.
As August neared its end one year, I bought a thin volume entitled, Why Are You Worrying? As the cashier plugged my purchase into the register, he asked, “Are you a teacher?’ He said he’d bought the same book at the start of a school year once too. While he may have bought the book for the same reasons I did, no self-help book could help me turn off the worry. I triangulated every possible scenario in the classroom; how I would put out fires, cut off conflicts at the knees before they stood up, squash rebellion before it started. But you can’t plan for every permutation. The very nature of education is the X factor.
And this nervous nature – is that what plunged me into depression when life became so overwhelming as a mother of three? I couldn’t control anything, didn’t understand and couldn’t fix the feelings I was having, and felt really crappy as a result.
Or is it viewing life through the dark glasses of depression that makes me see the shadows of worry in every corner?
It’s all tumbled together in the dryer at the highest setting anyway.
The only ‘good’ thing about all of it is that what I thought was a flaw on my part, a weakness, an inability to achieve, connect, push myself, believe in myself, is really anxiety. I’m not this wimpy, pathetic, sad sack. I have an excuse! A reason, a rationalization, a disease. Good for me!
So chicken or egg – it’s all part of the cycle of life. All I can do is try not to get scrambled.