Paralyzed. Frozen. Numb.

Paralyzed. When the depression hits sohard I can’t move. Literally. A fire could break out, and I’m not sure it would matter. My eyes are either stuck wide open or impossible to open. Every limb on my body is heavy and feels like sandbags. To move them it would take someone physically taking my legs and arms and picking them up for me. breathe, Carly. Trying to make sure my lungs keep inflating and deflating. one, two three, in. one, two, three, out.keep going. My senses fade like watching street signs disappear in my rearview mirror. Hearing. did I just hear my phone ring? doesn’t matter. who cares. I don’t even know where it is. Taste. What is that? salt. Salt from the tears rolling onto my lips and slipping onto my tongue and down the back of my throat. Sight. I can’t see. it’s so blurry. maybe, if I could just wipe my eyes or close them. they’re so heavy, though. so swollen. Touch. soft. my bed is so soft. my pillow is light. focus on that, Carly. breathe. again. again. Smell. I can’t breathe. my nose is so stuffy but it’s also running. I can’t move to wipe or blow it. I feel like I’m suffocating.

Frozen. My body is stuck. So is my mind. But, at the same time, my mind is racing and playing it o v e r and o v e r and o v e r. What did I do wrong this time? I always mess something up. why can’t I just be different? gosh, you’re so stupid. you’re not worth it. I played the scenario in my mind, o v e r and o v e r and o v e r again. you aren’t good enough. you don’t deserve good things to happen in your life. you’re forever going to be alone no matter how many people are in the room with you. you’re a pain to your friends. always needing saving.

Numb. I can’t feel anything. But, I’m feeling everything all at once. do I even care? what’s the point of trying? just stop. It’s when I just don’t care anymore. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I’m doing, who I’m with, or when it’s happening. Nothing makes it better until it passes. will this ever pass? does this ever end? I can’t stop crying.

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

Thankful.When you both walked in and rescued me. Carly, stop crying. breathe. inhale. exhale.You both sat on my bed and held me. thank you.You’re telling me it’s all going to be okay. You can do better. You deserve better. no, i don’t. “Come here, Red.” I can’t move. please. you come to me. help. You held me and said things I needed to hear. I needed to know that I’m worth something. I needed to know that I am a good person who can do good things even though I have so many flaws. you have so many flaws, carly. list them off. think about them. no one will ever accept you. You both put your arms around me and held me until I was ready. Can I move? What if i can’t get up? help. “Get up, Carly. Wipe your face. Put clothes on. Breathe.” Carly, do it.  Do what they said.  They’re helping you. I’m moving. I’m sitting up now. you’re doing it. keep going. You handed me a pair of shorts and a new shirt. thank you. I’ve got my clothes on now. You’re outside of my room saying something making me laugh. You can always crack me up. Somehow, I found a way into your life and you’ve become family to me. I will forever come to you for big things and small things. thank you. both of you. i don’t know how i would survive without you. literally. “It’s time to go, lets go.” i don’t know if i can. can i? they’ve got me. they won’t let me fall. but everybody else will know. they’ll ask questions. i can’t. You’re embracing me telling me you love me that you’ll forever stand by my side. thank you. please, please, please, don’t ever leave me. please say that you’ll stay in my life forever. We’re walking out the door. You put your arm around me, “Red, you’re a catch. Don’t ever tell anyone I said that.” my heart. it’s beating. it’s so full. thank you. Now we’re at dinner and it overcomesme again. i can’t breathe. i need to run. i need to get out of here. You give me your keys and tell me to go. thank you. My heart is breaking. o v e r and o v e r and o v e r again. will it stop? i thought i was ok. i’m second guessingeverything. I thought this was over. nope, you will never escape this pain. it will forever consume you. I can’t stop crying. Everything hurts. You come running out to save me, again. thank you. You ask if I need to leave. yes, yes, yes. please. Now, I can’t. “Okay, I will be right back.” thank you. You both come out ready to save me, again. i can’t. i can’t breathe. You ask me what happened, but you already know. damn it. please make it stop. “Breathe, Carly. It’s okay. Now it’s time to move forward.” you’re right. but how? You tell me that you’re here for me and you’re not going anywhere. You’ve got me. “Ice cream?” ugh. you know me so well. “Red, we’re going to get ice cream. Stop the tears and tell me what kind of ice cream you’re getting.” Those weren’t your exact words but close enough. Somehow, you can be a jerk brother, and get away with the things you say. But it works. thank you. both of you.

Grateful. The pieces are slowly being put back together. I am so grateful to have friends like you, ready to deal with any side of me. You don’t judge me and you know every dark secret I have. thank. the. lord. I am so grateful for you both. I can’t do life without you. Not just you two, but my family and the few but close and trustworthy friends that I have. I’m learning what it is to be a friend and to have real friends.

Blessed. I’m not sure what I did to have friends and family like you. God knew what he was doing when He made you (all of you). You all know how to calm me down. You know the right things to say. You know what I need. I am so blessed. I don’t have to suffer alone. I have many issues and flaws but I also have amazing support. I have friends and family who know my weaknesses. They know what’s off limits and what’s okay. They know how to pick up the parts when they’re all over the floor in tiny, crushed up pieces.

It’s a cycle.

Paralyzed. Frozen. Numb. Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

My name is Caroline, but I go by Carly. I’m 26 and an elementary school teacher. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since as far back as I can remember but was never “diagnosed” until my freshmen year of college. I was so ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it with anyone, but now I have fully embraced that part of me, and talk about it as much as I can to those who will listen.