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Overwhelmed by the Good

Life is hard. There is no doubt about that. It will throw you curveballs, break your heart, and spit you back out. But there is another side to it; the extreme good. I’m not just talking about one thing going right. I’m talking about dozens of things piling up and blasting you with good. That was me last week, overrun with good. And believe it or not, it threw me back into a state of depression. It wrapped me in a blanket of stress and left me feeling physically and emotionally incapable of dealing with it.

Now, that sounds crazy; I get that. But all the good things came with a ton of work. For those that don’t know, I am a full-time student, an employee, a small business owner, and an author. Any one of those things would be enough for one person, yet I seem to have found myself doing it all. It’s a personality trait. I need to do more to feel adequate. I now know this about myself, but that doesn’t make it any easier, nor does it help me avoid situations like these.

In the span of one week, all of my things piled up. I was onsite at work (which is a rarity in this COVID world), our small business took off, my book launched, and school had a variety of quizzes and assignments. Alone, these are not things that I couldn’t handle; together, they sent me over the tipping point.

Here is where my depression and anxiety take over. The world got dark. Everything had a sharp edge to it, threatening to hurt me. Nothing was good; it was all a challenge. Not just a challenge in the sense of it being hard, but a challenge that was taunting me to do better, be more. They all told me that I wasn’t enough, that these good things shouldn’t take me down. That a ‘normal’ person should be able to do this, and more.

It’s therapy, my husband, and my parents that help me survive this week. And the word choice of ‘survive’ is not to be taken lightly. But it didn’t all hit me at once. It started out very physical. I started to have nervous ticks. My skin felt too tight. My chest got hard. My breathing would sporadically come in as small gasps. It was incredibly physical, and yet, I still couldn’t see what was happening. Not until I started talking about it.

And then the crash. Coming into the weekend, when things started to calm down, it hit me the hardest. I tried to do all of the usual things, but I found myself unable to breathe, my chest burned, my head pounded, my body physically hurt. I couldn’t get out of bed for two days. It got to the point where we considered going to the hospital. And this was all the result of too many good things!

Life is a tricky thing. It can take you on many different paths, but the most surprising is when it all goes right. So often we are used to things not going our way, especially in this COVID world. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the overlapping and overwhelming good. It nearly broke me. Not because I wasn’t grateful, but because it left me wanting more. I had to fight to let the feeling in, and when it did trickle through, I wanted more and ended up pushing myself right up to the edge and then spilling over, all in search of that happy feeling. This is depression, my friends. The inability to let happiness just be what it is, the hunt for joy, the dark shadow that is cast over everything, the feeling of inadequacy, the overall hatred of yourself for not being ‘normal’.

If this is you, please reach out; to me, a loved one, or a professional. You would be surprised where help may come from. I reached out to all of these and found the most enthusiastic support. And yes, I reached out to me. I tuned in to my inner self, and I was surprised to see how much she had to say.

Listen to yourself, be kind to yourself. The dark days will pass, and words make them pass faster. So write them down, say them out loud, or even say them in your head.

Good luck to all you unique beings. May you continue to write epic stories that make your soul happy!

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