The Fight out of Anxiety, Trauma, & Depression

If you’ve never gone through a difficult period in your life this blog isn’t going to connect with you, but it’s still one you should try and understand. You may one day get to a place where you are in this spot, or someone you love is here and they don’t know how to put into words what they are experiencing.

With intense anxiety, trauma, or depression comes with it an alternate reality, or in Double exposure portraitactuality, it is the same reality as everyone else but with a foggy cloud over your head and everywhere you go. You still smile and give an appearance of normal as you mask the painful hurt that feels like a cancer silently spreading in your lungs.

Saddness takes over a life meant for joy and you feel surrounded by people that seem foreign to you.  Their life seems so simple, so happy, their joy doesn’t make sense under the cloud you are living in.

If you understand these words, I am with you, I have been there, and I have days and moments where the  weather forecast over my head can go from a rain cloud to a thunderstorm at the slightest emotional trigger.
This feeling is real. It feels isolated and lonely, and it is real.  Even if no one else can see the cloud you are trying to describe, it is there.  I believe you.  I feel it too.

friends-laughingI am sitting here with my phone in hand and listening to laughter. What’s that noise, how do I catch that moment she’s having over there? Can I borrow her smile? Can I feel absent from myself and connect with the experience she is having for just a moment?

Can I catch her joy in a mason jar like a girl looking for lightening bugs so I can
stare at it’s wonder all night long?lightening bugs

This fight for freedom is the battle this season of my life is trying to take from me. A voice in my head that is abusive because it uses statements with “always” and “never”.

“You will never be happy again”

“You will always feel this way”

Where’s the rainbow everyone talks about? I am tired of stormy weather.rainbow in the clouds image

I hear laughter over there, and as much as I want to steal it, instead I am going to borrow it. I am going to sit right here and listen to it as a reminder that joy is present, that happiness is within reach. That I have smiled, and I have laughed, and all those things will happen again in my life. They can happen today, they might even happen tomorrow.  This is my plan to get out of this place I am in.

I am not stuck in the mud my mind is disillusioned to believing I am in.

Her smile, her laughter over there with her friend is my small little ticket. The airplane ticket that takes me high above these rain clouds surrounding me for a momentary view of peace, of sunshine, of fresh air above the clouds.

view from airplane image

While depression, anxiety, trauma, and sadness try to consume me I cannot give up the fight back.

The fight what? Yes, the fight back!

The saying I heard today on the radio said “sometimes we feel like we have been thrown into a ditch and we don’t realize we have actually been planted”.

The fight back from depression is my seeds being birthed into roots. It is this moment of evil that throws me in a pile of dirt unknowing that I have been thrown into a secure foundation of strength being built beneath the surface.  These stormy rainclouds are producing the birth my body needs to feel strength for the fight ahead.  The push each day to grow a little taller on the inside.  A flower is coming, something beautiful is coming.  Joy will expound from this heart again.  I feel it coming.

small green seedling in the ground

I’m sprouting, it’s just happening slow, and your friend that’s in this spot, give them time.  Tell them the small bits of beauty that they are struggling to see that you notice forming within them in this difficult season. Give them a ticket, help them experience a reminder above the cloud over their head where they smile with you, where they get a glimpse of a rainbow perching from above this storm.  Where they see the lightening bugs of joy and happiness in you and they get to borrow it for a moment, as a reminder of what they once felt, and what they will feel again.

This season of my life has robbed me of enough.  I won’t let it take any longer the strength that I believe is inside me.  There is strength, I feel my heart still beating, that means I’m not done yet.

sun rays through the clouds imageNo matter the weather, no matter the storm, the promise of the sun is guaranteed tomorrow and is present today, we just don’t always get the benefit of seeing it, but it’s there, I know its there, its evidence is all around me if only I stop for a moment to see small rays peeking out through the clouds.


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One thought on “The Fight out of Anxiety, Trauma, & Depression

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  1. That was a beautiful post Emily…I am sure many of your followers will find encouragement in your words. We all experience those seasons in our lives when depression, anxiety/panic become the ‘norm’ and take a hold of our lives like a thief in the night ….I applaud you with your fight to come back….they are baby steps and you may experience the roller coaster ride during the fight….but that’s OKAY – that’s actually not a bad thing because it means that you ARE fighting back!!

    Through my own struggles over the past few years, I too have been trying to fight the fight….needless to say it can become emotionally paralyzing and completely overwhelming at times; the anxiety and panic worsen my condition; my inability to think straight, multi-task, and physically do all the things that I used to be able to do are either extremely difficult or are no longer possible, and the realization of that is difficult to accept because I have no control over certain things in my life anymore. But I still manage to try to keep my perspective, realizing that there are many people out there who are dealing with much, much worse struggles each and every day of their lives, and I am thankful.

    On the upswing of the roller coaster, I have learned to cherish those fleeting moments that give me hope and strength, to continue to fight the fight. I have learned to take the time to not only notice them, but to also find enjoyment in “these greatest gifts”, from the smallest of smalls like the tiny, unopened rosebuds in my yard which, in time with the proper nourishment, will grow into beautiful roses, to the childish laughter and giggles that I am fortunate to share with my grandchildren. I have learned not to take for granted appreciate the “in spite of” or unconditional love that I have from certain people in my family, particularly my mother (my rock), and can honestly say that about maybe two ‘friends’. I have learned that laughter is the key to sanity – mine anyway…. And then, at some point, I have reached the top of the roller coaster – you know, just when the wheels are squeaking to slow you down at the top — and as slow as that climb was to get to the top it’s phenomenal how quickly the downward spiral ride can be. That tumultuous down ward ride is about when I usually realize that I had been merely sitting in the calmness, the eye of the storm so to speak as the tornado strikes suddenly and I am whisked away into the twister. I feel defeated. I rest. And then prayer and my hope once I am able to collect myself after that long and draining journey is that the next time the climb UP that hill will last longer until at some point, the ride levels off and stays that way.

    My prayers to you Emily is that with God’s grace and love your ride will level off and soar to new heights soon. And, even though you may never be the ‘you’ that you used to know (after all, it is a different season), YOU ARE becoming a better you in this new season, just like the tiny unopened rosebud in my garden. You deserve that — I know that in my heart of hearts, and I believe that!


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