Me Vs. Anxiety + Depression

This has been an extremely hard subject to put into words.

It may look like I’m the happiest person in the world from the outside, but I have my bad days just like everyone else. I’ve debated posting about this for a while but eventually I have decided that it’s much more important for people with anxiety or depression to know that they aren’t alone than it is to hide my issues from the world, so here goes…

It’s easy to tell yourself that everything is fine. It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t care about the little things. It’s so easy to try and convince yourself that certain things don’t matter, and you should just move on and forget about the way you feel….

But you don’t forget. And you don’t move on. You bury it under layers of smiles and fake “I’m fines.” And eventually it shoots out of you like lava and takes over your life and makes the people around you take a step back, and wonder where all of this is suddenly coming from.

Sometimes it starts SO SMALL. With something someone says to you in passing, or maybe a conversation you had in the past with a friend or a lover. And then you dwell on it. You overthink it. You stew on it until a small comment morphs into something earth shattering. All of a sudden, stress turns into anxiety and anxiety turns into depression. Before you know it, you’re questioning everything and you just want to curl up and disappear. It happens fast, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop it from creeping up on you.

I’ve been struggling with overwhelming and crippling anxiety and depression since I was young. The hardest part about it: I had no idea what I was dealing with when I was younger. I had no idea why I felt the way that I felt. I didn’t understand why I had these abrupt mood swings; I was upset constantly, and didn’t know how to handle my emotions. It’s taken me over 15 years to pinpoint and deal with my issues. I’ve been through the ringer with ex boyfriends constantly telling me “YOU’RE CRAZY”… am I crazy because I have feelings?! Absolutely not. I might handle them differently, but that doesn’t make me CRAZY.

Trying to explain to someone who doesn’t have anxiety, what anxiety feels like, is almost impossible. It’s like all of a sudden, the world closes in on you, everything is tight, you can’t breathe. And then steps in the depression? The world is suddenly dark, and you can’t find the light no matter how hard you try. Put the two together and it feels like a recipe for failure.

Any person who can battle one, LET ALONE TWO, of these issues is SO INCREDIBLY STRONG. The mood swings, the judgement and the way people make you feel about yourself… it’s all so hard to deal with. You are not alone. There are so many people dealing with these same issues. NEVER let anyone make you feel crazy for feeling the way that you feel. You do not deserve to be called crazy, you deserve to be SUPPORTED AND LOVED. Surrounding yourself with people who understand is so important. Explaining to your loved ones how you feel is even more important.

When you hit rock bottom, which for me happens often, take a second to think about what truly makes YOU happy. It might feel right at the time to stay in bed, to wallow in your worry and sadness…. but that will never remedy the situation. It will only make you feel worse. Sometimes it feels impossible to break out of your comfort zone, but I’ve found that’s the one thing that will make you feel better. Going into nature, taking a hike or a swim, doing something that makes me feel empowered and strong, ven grabbing my favorite coffee and walking around a botanical garden has been known to do the trick.

All in all- this is a battle that will continue. It won’t just go away. The most important thing to remember is that, and I’ll repeat this once again- YOU are NOT alone. When you’re feeling low, reach out to someone. Stay positive. I know its easier said than done, but hold your head high, and remember that this too shall pass. Slowly but surely you can fight these feelings and move on, because tomorrow is a brand new day, and this is your journey.

Please- If you feel comfortable doing so, take a minute to comment below… As always, I would love to hear your feedback, especially if you can relate to this post!

25 thoughts on “Me Vs. Anxiety + Depression

  1. I as well struggle with both of these. Lately I’ve been feeling as if I’m drowning. That’s the best way to describe it because no matter how hard I try to accomplish things, to stay afloat, and to balance everything in my life-I still can’t save myself from sinking. And it can be a slow painful drowning or I wake up and boom I’m gargling water.

    Your post is beautifully written and it’s so so important for people to remember they aren’t alone. Despite how lonely they may feel, there are people all around who are going through the same thing. And like you said, it’s so so important to let your loved ones know so that they can help in any way they know how and so that they don’t judge you. Although loved ones never should anyway. Thank you for writing this and I’m glad you’ve found some things that help you! ❤

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment love. I totally appreciate your words and support.
      I also love the way you put it- like you’re drowning. So absolutely true.
      Also I absolutely agree- judgment is the hardest thing to move past, but with a little explaining, hopefully it’s possible!

      ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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      1. This is such a sensitive subject, and your words are beautifully written so thank you for that<3 I can relate to all of this. I feel like a lot of people hide these feelings and only post the "happy and fun" side of their lives, but never share how they're feeling when anxiety/deperession gets the best of you. You are so strong for sharing this, I know how hard that can be. You are beautiful inside and out, don't let anybody tell you otherwise! 😘

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  2. Thank you for this post. I battle with both every single day and can relate to everything here. Thank you for making me feel like I can overcome this ❤

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  3. Thank you for sharing so bravely and honestly. Throughout my late teens and early 20s I suffered with awful depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, alcoholism and a self harm addiction. My salvation came through discovering my spirituality, but I know that your words here would have been a great help- so it’s lovely to see them now and know how many people they will help! Your advice is so spot on! Keep sharing and shining your light !

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  4. Ive recently been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression disorder… amd I just like you, it took 10+ years to realize I’ve been dealing with this since I was so so young. Proud of you for using your influences as a bad ass babe to talk about some serious and life-changing struggles you’ve had. Every conversation we have about mental health helps us all end that stigma we all face with me talk health issues… and help people realize that these things don’t define us, but are just tiny building blocks that make us 100x stronger in the end ❤️ thank you so much Risa for opening up!

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  5. My mother battles with it everyday. I moved in with her 2 years ago to help her out. It’s a constant struggle and it’s hard to explain to be why she’s so “essentric”. Her depression pills make her “over-the-top” happy, I’d rather her be that way than clinically depressed and crying and suicidal. I think it’s awesome to show people, especially well-known as yourself, that this happens. And when it does, you aren’t alone. 🌈

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  6. At this very moment I am struggling. Depression and anxiety is real. A lot of the people I know believe it to be made up. I had to rid these people of my life. I’m in a shitty situation in my marriage. I’m not happy and either is she. I don’t know what to do anymore. Right now I’m laying in my bed and it’s 5:11. I shouldn’t be in bed just shutting out the world. I don’t know what else to do though. Thank you for the blog. I know you understand. I’ve been following you for quite some time and your beautiful pictures and your family time snapchats make my heart happy. I’d love to talk to you sometime. I feel like we all need someone who understands mental illness in our life to talk to and vent too.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this, Risa! I just started having horrible horrible anxiety 1 year ago before I made a huge move across the country starting a new life. However, it stuck with me longer than I had hoped. At first I didnt know what I was feeling which made me feel even worse because I thought I was literally going insane. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone how I was feeling because I just didnt think they’d understand. I just went on with life with a smile on my face when deep down I felt scared shitless of my own self which caused me to have panic attacks. The kind where you feel like you are going to faint. That just added more anxiety to my life because I was scared of the panic attacks. It got so bad I wouldn’t be social or want to leave the house. I also couldn’t be alone for too long because I was afraid of my own thoughts. It got so bad it started to effect my marriage. I remember wishing everyday that just wanted to be normal again. That I wanted to be truly happy and feel joy again… Finally, after a crazy panic attack I decided to do some serious research on how to cope. Thats when I discovered meditation. I also started reading self help books on how to feel joy again. I started to stop letting my thoughts take over my life. I look at my life and the world around me so differently now. I spend everyday seeking positivity. I feel my mind slowly rewiring into an aware and present state of mind that makes my anxiety levels low. I also haven’t had a panic attack in 3 months. I feel like I have control over my mind again. I look at all the beautiful things in life instead of being critical and dwelling on the negative. I also feel so much peace being in nature. Its my therapy!
    Anyways, its so brave of you to share this because you’re right, in your photos you look so unbothered and perfectly happy. Its so comforting to know you have dealt and deal with this too. Anxiety is a natural part of life and shouldn’t be stigmatized.
    Always remember, negativity cannot coexist with positivity! Lets keep the positivity on high at all times! ❤💛💚💙💜

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  8. girl, i just have to say you’ve never been more beautiful than you are in this post baring it all! i have struggled with depression and anxiety for 15 years. i’ve been on and off medication during those 15 years and i tried to hide it for so long. the moment i surrendered and showed my true self i felt stronger than ever. once i showed what was behind my smile and my constant humor i was never more loved by my friends and family. see, there’s a wall you put up when you try to hide your sadness and anxiety and although you see it as “no one wants to see this side of me” everyone else is thinking “there’s something else going on”. you have made yourself more beautiful than any photo you’ve put on social media. you’ve opened yourself up. and hang on, love, you’re going to have so many people lifting you up and showering you with love just because you let this wall down.
    love, always, my dear!
    thank you for this post!
    mary damn

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  9. I have Bipolar I disorder. And ADHD and anxiety. The bipolar went undiagnosed for 15 years, from my late teens. In that time, from the outside, I looked like I had all my shit together. I graduated from college. I graduated from law school. At the time I was properly diagnosed I was an attorney on Maui, doing pretty well. Own condo, the European sports car, not bad looking, etc. But I was hiding in plain sight the whole time. I told no one that I was struggling, afraid that if they found out I would be shunned, personally and professionally. Hiding it took so much psychic energy. For years after medication didn’t really work; newer meds have made me more even-keeled, though.

    I was also diagnosed with ADHD about 10 years ago.. I must have had it all along. Interestingly, I think this has contributed more to problems than the bipolar. It explained a lot about my perception of what was going on around me. I can be very good at dealing with abstract ideas, but the everyday stuff that goes on around me – I sometimes miss cues or feel like everyone else except me got the memo . . . I probably already had an anxious personality, but I think given the above you would suffer from anxiety. Perhaps more “natural” approaches would work (the dispensaries are now open and I have a card).

    So I have already said too much (that attorney thing). However, I wanted you to know that you can make it if I can. In some ways being depressed can be a gift. I think I am a more compassionate and caring person because I can relate to others who are hurt, who are in pain. Had I not been so afflicted I probably would have been the kind of attorney and person that you wouldn’t like very much, the kind that always has to win. Know what? We’ve already won, we are here on earth with lives worth living and nothing to apologize for . . . Too bad we weren’t on Maui at the same time, it would have been great to hang with someone – without having to hide.

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  10. I struggled with anxiety, depression and alcoholism/addiction. I self medicated for my entire life. In 2015 I was at a rock bottom, I was homeless, broke and left with myself and my pain. I acted on my pain and ended up in the pyschward. This lead me into recovery and I’ve been sober since September 2015. I was given some non addicting medication that I still take and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober. I’m so happy and peaceful now. I still get depressed and anxious but I have and use tools to deal with them.

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  11. The self deprecation from over analyzing every little thing I do wrong is weight that I carry daily. I’ll get down on myself and struggle. I’m coming out of an almost year long low now. It has been incredibly tough but I guess I have been fortunate enough to learn some things in the process. I work in an alpha male type environment so it can be rough and lonely at times but here I am, working hard just like the rest of you fine folks. Head up, lean forward and push on.

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  12. I struggle with depression & have all of my life. My depression doesn’t esculate to self harm to myself. But it’s there because the circumstances of my life. I have no real friends besides my cousin. I’m stuck at job that I hate but can’t leave because the pay is great & comes with benefits. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16. I haven’t been in college ever because I’m too scared, maybe because I feel like I’m not smart enough for college, what if i fail? I just feel like I’m stuck in a “loser” position.

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  13. i feel you a million % when you say you’ve struggled all your life but had no clue how to identify it, or that there were ways to help manage it, when you were younger. it’s only in recent few years that i’ve taken major strides in learning how to deal! maui was a major mental rough spot for me, and i was in denial for a large part of it- during and after (denial makes it wayyy worse!). some time after i left, i was in a session talking about that year with so much negativity, and my therapist had me write down the things that actually made me feel good while i was there. your name was at the top of my list <3. and i'll love you forever for it, too!

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  14. I feel like.. I hate when people worry about me. I don’t want to sound like a broken record with another emotional issue. But I’ve gone for so so long, burying my feelings, that now I just feel like I’m throwing up..like word vomit.. every awful thing I think about and feel, when that -one thing- triggers an emotional explosion. Sometimes it seems so easy to “act normal” but you know deep down you’re making yourself worse. It’s a constant battle and most days I feel like I’m losing. Thank you for this post. It’s hard to remind yourself that you’re not alone.

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  15. I’ve followed you on social media for some time now and really look up to you! I also struggle with anxiety and depression. I do a damn good job of faking it until I make it, with a smile firm on my face. You make life seem so flawless online. I feel as if I paint that picture to all my friends and family as well. What’s crazy is that behind all the smiles, photoshoots and traveling, there is still something missing. A void I don’t know if I will ever be able to fill. I am happy in my life right now, don’t get me wrong. I think you are too. But what is it making us feel so gloomy with so much California sunshine? Meditation and self awareness have been my current focus. Sooooooo many positive vibes sent your way as you conquer your journey through the darkness. “Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right!” ~The Grateful Dead

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  16. I have followed you on social media for a LONG time now & I absolutely love how much you don’t give a damn about other people’s opinions. It is so empowering. This speaks to me in so many ways, I feel like I’m almost reading about myself. I also have nocturnal epilepsy which can add to my anxiety & depression but most of it comes from my own insecurities about myself. I’ve always had very strong feelings about my body that I can’t control & I hate it & ive noticed some days I do just curl up & hide which is terrible. But I feel so much better when I work out & find a way to release my feelings, or like you said, go on a hike (: What’s hard for me is my motivation & mood swings also, I feel crazy sometimes. I am still young so I have a lot of growing up to do, but controlling my mood swings with my anxiety & depression is one of my main problems that is so hard for me. I completely understand this entire post & love your woman empowerment! Keep shining always Risa✨✨✨

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