What I hate most about anxiety is waking up with it. It’s like an emotional hangover – the first thing you feel before you open your eyes. I want to be able to tie my anxiety to an event or person or thing. Maybe then I could make sense of it. But I can’t. It is just there, tight and nauseous in my chest. I so badly want it to go away. It is Saturday! It is gorgeous outside!

I run down my gratitude list, hoping that will help: I have been unscathed by the recession – keeping my job and the same pay; I have a teenage daughter who is beautiful, healthy, fun, funny and has never given me any trouble; Ten years after my divorce, I get along with her father; I have a book about to be published; I have a cute little house in a trendy neighborhood; I have friends; I can ride my bike to the ocean; I have money in the bank; I am healthy and weigh the same as I did in college; I am blessed.

Still, I feel rotten and bad. I want to be alone. I want to get back into bed, curl up into the tightest fetal position I can and pray for sleep that is not filled with dreams that make me more anxious. I know everyone has days when they feel overwhelmed, flat and sad. But when those of us with depression feel this way, we don’t know if it is an ordinary, run-of-the-mill blah spell or if it is the beginning of something far more out of the ordinary. And THIS can make us more anxious.

So I am pulling out my tool box. I am going to use every tool I need today to take care of myself. I am going to take my meds, say my prayers, ride my bike to the park, go to the gym, swim and hang-out with a friend tonight.

Thou shalt not get back into bed and curl up into a fetal position.