If you don’t know what it feels like to have depression or anxiety, or if you are wondering if anyone really feels the same way you do, I am going to take the time today to go over what I am currently feeling, and what I usual feel like throughout the day as I share it with anxiety and depression. I will also share some tips and tools that I have learned throughout my life in hopes of giving you a few new ones to try out yourself.
Currently, there isn’t a a huge amount of disruption coming from my anxiety or depression. I am noticing a slight headache, and usually notice this at least once a day. I think that this is due to small spurts of anxiety that I experience throughout the day. These aren’t necessarily anxiety attacks, but more of a “take your breath away” moment where I can’t figure out what I should do next. As I was thinking about what to write about today, this is what happened, but ultimately lead to what you’re reading! So in this case, it helped me figure out what to do!
I don’t feel groggy or anything like that, or necessarily down. I was once told that I am literally: “Wired to be wired.” So basically, I could go days off of minimal sleep due to my anxiety. I am taking some medication for my anxiety and depression, and this has helped with leveling out my day. Before taking them, I had a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. Now, I am able to get a full night’s sleep, but I do feel a little sluggish for the first few hours in the morning, but nothing that ultimately affects my day.
Nights for me are still a different story, aside from not being able to sleep. I honestly do not like falling asleep, partly due to the fact that, before medication, I had an almost impossible time doing it. It would take me anywhere from two to four hours to fall asleep. I wish I was kidding. After I managed to fall asleep, I still would find myself waking up every hour or so.
When I do experience an anxiety attack nowadays, the biggest thing for me is to realize that I am having one. I know this might sound funny to some, but when you accept that you are having an anxiety attack, you automatically take the first step into breaking it down and learning how to stop it.
Usually, anxiety attacks take over our lives in that moment, but rather than succumb to the fear and terror, I try to think about questions that can break it down into smaller obstacles to conquer rather than one big wall. Why is it happening? Am I able to take control of the situation so that I can change the way I am feeling? If I can’t, is it really worth the time to worry about because it is out of my control? These are little things that I ask myself to help me dial back the fear, the terror, and the confusion. It has worked for me in the past, and continues to do so. Give it a shot if you like.
Depression is kind of something that I have learned to deal with. I am not saying that everyone needs to just deal with it, because I know that I couldn’t without seeing a therapist or taking medication, but it kind of goes back to how I face my anxiety. You have to eat the elephant one bite at a time. If you look at depression as this insurmountable obstacle that you can’t get passed, that’s what it’s going to be.
Part of me really hates saying that because I know from experience that it’s never that simple. It took me years of negative experiences, failed friendships, jobs, and days of truly dark thoughts that I couldn’t see passed in order for me to get to this point in my life, but I know that it is possible. And on top of this, mental illness is something that cannot be beaten on your own. These aren’t broken bones that heal with time. This isn’t a common cold that will go away with the help of some medication. It will be a part of your life, but that doesn’t mean that you have to let it control your life. You are the only person who truly has the ability to map out your road to recovery from what ever mental illness you face. And that road will have its bumps and wrong exits and terrible gas station foods, but that doesn’t mean that you have to drive that road alone. Very few make that trip alone. And nothing says that we can’t ask for directions either.
What I ask of you is to take the next step. If you know someone who is struggling to take that next step, show them this article. I hope that you all found something of value in this little post. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, comments, or just need someone to talk to. I’m always here to talk and offer advice or insight if asked for. Stay safe everyone.