Archive for July, 2013

The Art of Doing Something.

Posted in anxiety, anxiety disorder, coping, coping strategies, depression, mental health, mental illness, panic attacks, recovery with tags , , on July 9, 2013 by Trace

The thing about depression and anxiety flare-ups is they often creep up on you. At first, it’s just random, self-defeating thoughts, such as:

You’ll never be able to handle this, why are you even trying?

You’ll ruin everyone’s day if you go out with them.

And then the thoughts get progressively worse, the longer you let it keep going. And it will keep going. I don’t know about anyone else’s brain, but it’s a little like lassoing an enraged animal. You let it keep rampaging and it runs around breaking precious things until you get it under control and back where it should be. Sometimes the animal is a tiny, angry dog. Other times the animal is a bull elephant.

Either way, there is damage that happens. In terms of emotions and depression, that damage can be a lot of things – a complete lack of self-esteem and self-worth, the inability to live a normal life, the blackest feeling of despair you wouldn’t wish on anyone. You sit in your room and cry and then get angry at yourself for crying. You bemoan not being able to be normal and then that wanting to be normal compounds the depression you feel. Eventually, at least for me, it leaves me finding it hard to do much of anything but go through the motions.

Your body has a way of keeping you from doing things you want to do. I’ve noticed the pattern, after almost ten years of this garbage. What’s the pattern?

Depression/anxiety > Wallowing > Pushing self out of wallowing > Getting motivated and feeling better

…and it repeats, over and over. The motivation is the best feeling in the world when you’ve been under gray clouds for ages, but eventually that sunshine starts to fade under the clouds again. Thoughts like ‘well this won’t last long’ becomes something you need to constantly combat. If you’re me and have health anxiety issues, suddenly the things you’ve felt you finally got under control is going haywire again. The motivation slowly sinks back to depression and anxiety, and you’re left with vague memories of all the moments you thought you were finally okay.

Trust me, your brain records your every failure to repeat back at you when you’re at your best when depression is part of your life. It’s never that time you overcame your fear when the bad feelings start coming back, not automatically at least. No, you need to actively seek out the positive thoughts before it drowns under the negativity your brain loves to hold onto. It beats you over and over and, just for good measure, the injuries it inflicts on you are invisible just so the people in your life wonder why you can’t just pull yourself together.

I’m still in one of my downward spirals. It crops up every so often, often when my body decides to do something that scares me (remember, health anxiety). Simple aches and pains are blown out of portion the second they happen. Sometimes, I can push them aside quickly enough. Other times you have where I am now, where fear dictates everything. I know the what I need to do to pull myself out of this, but it’s the initial push that’s the hardest. And what is the first step, you ask? What is the secret first step I have found to be the start of every recovery period for me?

Do something.

Simple, right? Really vague, right? There’s a reason for that. The ‘something’ is different for each person. It also pluralizes itself as you take steps to improve things. When you hit rock bottom like I’ve been, where getting up and taking care of myself feels insurmountable, that’s my something. Showering, making myself meals instead of just eating junk, keeping myself and my surroundings neat, go to therapy even when I don’t want to go outside – these are all small things, but recovery is a lot of stepping stones to getting better. Sometimes you trip on the stones, but getting up and pushing forward is the best thing you can do for yourself. I think what I need to learn now is to always keep my eye on the road instead of letting myself slack, because when I start sliding back into old habits, the cycle starts again. Doing something and continuing to do something, whatever that something is, is difficult but in the end is the best thing you can do for yourself. It may not ‘fix’ you, but it may make things just a little better than it was before. Those falls start not lasting as long as they lasted before.  

I hope you all find your ‘something’ to get you started on feeling better, too.Go_For_It

 

As an aside, if you feel you are to the point of needing professional help and don’t know where to turn and want getting help to be your ‘something’, there’s a good list of ways to seek help for anyone looking for it here.

On job searching and hope

Posted in anxiety, anxiety disorder, depression, job hunting, mental health, mental illness with tags , , , on July 1, 2013 by Trace

Hello there, folks. Long time no talk.

I wish I could say the radio silence was for all good things. Instead, I’ve mostly been mentally exhausted and depressed by putting myself into looking for work. It’s bad enough when you’re someone without a mental disorder and not finding what you want, but when you have one?

Yeah, it’s been a bit like I’ve been constantly beaten down.

009-depressed

I admit it, my resume isn’t the best. I got my anxiety and depression diagnosis late in life (18) and didn’t properly have it under control for most of my college life. I had to take a semester off at one point, but that’s a story for another time. During school, I did have one solid job, but once I was out of school, I was set adrift. That led to anxiety and depression part two, in which I stayed out of work for way too long. Now I have a resume that’s pretty terrible and lacking much since 2011, which is the first thing people see.

How do you explain you’ll be a hard worker when you literally have proof on paper you did nothing but wallow in misery for years? I’ve started to get better at lying my ass off and saying things I’ve been doing when I haven’t been doing much at all except piecing my life together.

It’s rough. It’s rough but I keep going, because eventually I’ll get hired somewhere. Still, I find myself constantly jealous of people who sort of fell into their lives, because at 27, I still don’t know what I want to do or if I can even do it. It’s a little hard to sell yourself to companies when you’re even hard on yourself for not having things together.

People say you are your own worst enemy. This is probably more true than I ever want to admit. I have let myself pass up opportunities when I was at my worst, and it’s biting me in the butt. I think I fell into this moping cycle again, and I starting fighting back yesterday. Cleaned my room properly in the first time in forever. Wrote this post this morning and actually felt like writing this post, instead of feeling like I had to force these words to come out of me.

Positive steps. That’s what I need now more than ever.

I’m looking into volunteer opportunities this morning, because I’ve recognized I’m not doing well the longer I don’t go out and do something productive. I think that’s the first thing I can tell anyone dealing with this – don’t stay inside. Even if you’re getting nos, even if it feels like everything is at its’ worst, find something fufilling to do, even if it’s not paid. I hope to get back into blogging more, too, because this is a nice outlet. It’s nice to be able to write these things down and release them instead of letting them bottle up and explode on me.

Maybe I’ll even have good news to share soon.