Life on The Fence

Living with anxiety and depression can be incredibly taxing on the mind and body. You probably already knew that as you also, like me, deal with one or both on a daily basis. For those of you lucky enough to be reading this and have no idea what that feels like, let me illustrate it for you.

Imagine life with anxiety and depression is like sitting on a fence in the middle of a hill. Everyone else is at the top of the hill enjoying life and all it has to offer. But you fell down the hill sometime during your life, and now sit on this fence instead. The fence is uncomfortable and even painful to sit on, but you’ve been here for so long that you’ve grown used to the pain. Yet, you often want to get off, because life on this fence is unbearable. Especially while looking up at all the people on the top of the hill enjoying life so much. After some thought, you realize that there are only 2 options to get off this fence, either up the hill or down it.

Down the Hill

Let’s start with the bad news. You look at the bottom of the hill and realize the easier of the two options would be to roll your way down the hill. You think about it all the time, how much would it hurt? The answer is a lot, as the slope is not steady, and is very jagged. You’ll most likely break all the bones in your body on the way down, suffer numerous cuts, and land at the bottom, unable to move and slowly and painfully bleeding out until you ultimately die. It certainly would not be the best way to go, but it sure beats sitting on this fence for your whole life. Or so you think because you have your friends and family scrambling on the top of the hill to find a rope, ladder, anything to pull you back up. They would never be able to reach you if you fell to the bottom, no one can. However, where you are now, you can just barely not reach this rope that is just dangling right there in front of you. So you stay on this fence just a while longer.

Up the Hill

Life looks so wonderful at the top of the hill. You might even remember what it was like to be there. Your friends and family are all worried sick about you sitting on this fence, trying their best to find any way to pull you up. The rope they dangle right in front of you, just short that you can’t reach it is all they can offer without having been on the fence themselves. You look at the bottom and face that you’re just not ready to fall and that you don’t want to be on this fence anymore, so the only way is up. It will be grueling and probably just as painful as the way down. You’ll have to use every ounce of your strength to climb this slope while making sure you don’t slip back down to the fence. It might take months, years or even your whole life, but you’re determined to get off this fence and back to the top of the hill.

Your Adversaries

Either up or down, both are options at this point, because you just can’t take this fence any longer. Depression has made it a cold rainy day, making sitting on this fence incredibly painful. Depression turns the top of the hill into an unachievable dream. Depression has made the shouts of joy coming from the top sound like laughter that you’re stuck on this fence. Depression has made it so this fence is more comfortable than either up or down. You think it can’t get any worse, but Anxiety has made the wind gust incredibly strong, shaking the fence every chance it gets. It’s made it so there is a lightning rod attached to the fence in this terrible weather, torching you every so often. There are so many things that just want to knock you off the fence, down the valley below. Yet you just cling to this fence for dear life, unable to go either direction.

The thing is, unbeknownst to you, you are not alone on this fence, there are millions just like you, clutching to this fence every day. How much easier would it be if we all just held onto each other, or made a human chain up the hill. Just know that if you’re suffering on that fence, there are always people here to help you from falling to the bottom of the hill.


90 Replies to “Life on The Fence”

  1. So very true. There are a lot of us on this fence. The view might be a little different from one person to the next, but we are all sitting here together. Nicely written. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I absolutely love reading your writing. The way you describe things is so accurate and spot on. I continue to feel this way as I try to make my way up hill, glancing back at the fence however often.

    1. It always makes me happy and sad when what I write is relatable. Happy that I was efficient in getting my point across, sad that people can relate to my experiences with their own. It’s always a weird feeling

      1. I’m sick of people calling me ‘brave’ for speaking out. When I feel I’m a fraud if people call me that.

      2. I feel that way sometimes, but I’m not speaking out for myself, I’m speaking out for others. When I remember that, I don’t really care what I’m called

      1. I’m new to blogging. What is the difference between what I read from you and that blog?

      2. What you’re reading is the blog The Bipolar Writer by James Edgar Skye. I write here with the permission of the main author, as a contributing blogger. The Smiles We Bear is my own personal blog, where I can write whatever I want, and so far everything is published by only me.

      3. Oh!!!!! I didn’t realize that. Ok. I will check it out for sure!!!

  3. I am extremely new to this world of blogging. Just want to say that this is great. Love the message & the content itself. Keep on climbing that fence cause there is a lot of us on it indeed.

    1. Thanks, I really like the imagery when I was writing it too. I think it’s a very good way to explain mental illness to people who don’t understand

  4. I understand what you mean. I too have anxiety. Sometimes I look at people and think “wow, Imagine being able to live like that”. I love how you explained it like your on a fence. Hope it gets better for you.

  5. That… made me hopeful. Knowing that you’re not alone, is probably one of the major things that gives one courage to get up, fight back!

    1. Your writing is very good, I would say to work on the grammar and pacing, as I often found myself getting lost in the choppiness of your writing. I love your direction though, and think your style is very unique. Keep up the good work!

      1. Could do me a favour
        Can I just ping you when I write a blog and you could help me with the pros and cons
        Only if that’s fine with ya

      2. I would love to help you with that, but I have my own site that takes up all my time. I will however follow your site and watch your growth

  6. How much easier would it be if we all just held onto each other, or made a human chain up the hill. Just know that if you’re suffering on that fence, there are always people here to help you from falling to the bottom of the hill.

    This is so beautifully penned ..thank you 🙂

  7. What is our decision at the end of the day? Siting there or do something about life? We can not just blame life for make us like this, we shape our own lives. It is all up to us, to sit there and complaint or stop sitting on the foot of the hill.

    1. I agree, there are many that really take for granted that they’re already on top of the hill, when there are so many struggling to climb up

  8. I could relate to every word. It’s true that there are others battling other fights, we just all need to help one other, not boasting about who is more hurting and who’s not. Glad I discovered this on wordpress, i’m going to follow you for this great post 🙂 Have a great day 🙂

  9. I really liked reading, that was good explained… I know how it feels like, you are not alone 🙂

  10. I always thought, we cannot be alone and be quiet. We express our thoughts just the way you do, how you put them into words. To get affirmation and most importantly-knowledge. To keep seeking for answers and solutions.

  11. Anxiety is misunderstood. People are quick to say “Just calm down!” Thanks…but don’t you think that I would if I could? You painted a beautiful picture with words about 2 illnesses that can consume someone. Thanks for this!

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