Anxiety and Depression CAN be Overcome

You’re not weak. You’re not crazy. You’re not making a mountain out of a mole hill.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, or anxious, or even depressed.

Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and/or depressed doesn’t make you weird, sick, or abnormal. You’re not alone in how you’re feeling, even though it may seem that way sometimes.

Yeah, maybe you have an imbalance. Maybe you need therapy to help you with your feelings. Maybe you even need a little medication to help you over the hill. There’s nothing wrong with that. Fuck the stigma some people place on things like therapy and medication. You need to do what’s best for you.

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re human, and you’re perfectly normal. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t tear yourself down, and don’t push your feelings away. Accept them. Welcome them. At their core, they are there to help you, they are your honest, natural feelings and emotions, and there is nothing wrong with them. They are telling you something isn’t quite right and needs fixing.

Look them in the face, accept them for being the normal human feelings and emotions they are, and watch them pass.

I’ll be honest. This winter, I was in a pretty dark place for a while. I was struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, and pretty deeply depressed. I wasn’t sure why I was feeling this way, and that was the most frustrating part of it all. It didn’t only affect me, it affected Amber too.

During this time, I fought the feelings, I pushed them away, I called myself stupid and weak for having the feelings, and I tried to tough them out. It wasn’t the first time I’d suffered from depression, though. I’ve suffered with it periodically since I was about 18 or 19. Each time I’ve tried this same tactic of trying to bury, fight, and discredit my emotions as being invalid and silly, and waiting for them to hopefully pass.

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Unfortunately, depression doesn’t work that way, and things only get worse. And, each time I’ve dealt with bouts of depression over the years, things have been a little bit worse, and I’ve fallen a little bit deeper into that proverbial hole each time.

However, over this spring I’ve slowly climbed back out of my depression, thanks in large part to getting help from a therapist and meditating regularly. I’m still learning to do all the things I mentioned earlier, such as accepting my emotions and letting them pass rather than fighting my emotions and trying to force them away. But ultimately I’m improving, I’m feeling much better, and I’m hoping that this time the changes I’ve made in my life will help me from falling so far into that hole if my depression returns in the future. For the first time in a long time, I feel very hopeful about the future, and that feels good.

Meditation has helped greatly, and as I mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve started writing regularly again, and meditation has surely had an impact on my creativity, production, and overall happiness. I highly recommend just 10 minutes of daily meditation to everyone, it can truly help each and every one of us live a happier, more fulfilling life. Many think meditation is corny, or stupid, or they are afraid of what others will think. But before you knock it, give it a fair try, do it privately where you’ll be free of judgment, and really let yourself go in the meditation. You may be surprised at how it makes you feel.

And if you’re a beginner, please don’t try to start meditating without the help of some type of guide, you’ll give up almost as soon as you sit down. Utilize a guided meditation (there are tons of free guided meditations on YouTube, and Headspace is a great guided meditation app as well) and start doing it either once a day, or even just a few times a week.

As someone who has struggled with mental illness much of my life, and in the wake of the tragic suicides of people such as Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Tyler Hylinski, and the countless others not in the celebrity spotlight that take their lives every day, I felt the need to make a short post about the importance of tending to our mental health.

It’s time to remove the stigma that has been placed on things such as therapy and medication, and realize that there are many positive and helpful treatments out there to help people through mental health crises that are truly a serious medical condition that many of us go through in our lives.

Finally, if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please try to remember this: You’re not a burden. You may feel that way, that if you weren’t around anymore everyone else’s lives would be easier, but that’s just not the case. People love you, and care about you, and your death would leave a gaping hole in their lives. It wouldn’t remove an unwanted burden, it would be the opposite. Seek out help, there are people out there that are ready and willing to provide assistance.

If you are struggling, or have thoughts about this, please feel free to drop a comment, or even reach out to me directly. I’m more than willing to discuss what I’ve written about in this post with anyone who’s interested.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

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