I’ve been dealing with Anxiety and Depression for about as long as I can remember. Like a green-eyed monster hiding under my bed, scary, emotional, causing me to freak-out and always keeping me on the edge of my seat. Anxiety and Depression have always been a part of my life. And I’ve said this before:
Suffering from Depression or anxiety isn’t something you can just wish away.
It’s not something any kind of medication will miraculously just cure.
In fact, Anxiety and Depression isn’t something you can hide from. You can’t run from it. You can’t ignore it. You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Because when you break it all down. It’s either a part of you. Or, it’s something you will be forced to face before it blows your life into smithereens.
I’m 43 years old. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Disorder at 22. You would think after all this time I would have my crap together when it comes to dealing with my internal sad times. But honestly — lately– it’s been kinda rough.
I’m on medication and have been for the past ten years. I haven’t talked much about my bipolar days here on the blog, but that’s going to change. Why? Because it needs to be talked about. I know that I’m not alone. This boat I’m in, although it feels like it’s sinking– it isn’t. In fact, a million other people worldwide are without flotation devices and life-jackets paddling right along with me, each one fearful of drowning.
That doesn’t make things any easier to deal with.
I have my utterly happy times. Like this past week. I was sitting in the car with the kids and we were cracking up laughing. Not at anything in particular either. Just howling at each other for being silly.
Laughter is a great endorphin’s, but sometimes the higher laughter brings me. The worse I crash afterward. It’s almost insane to think that being joyful (too much) leads me to become an utter and emotional mess later on.
Not cool. But it does.
An hour later, I was laying in the tub and bawling my frickin head off. Why? No bloody idea. Everything. Nothing. Gawd, I don’t know. I felt so stressed out. I felt like something bad was going to happen. I felt upset and worried, but not about anything really important. It’s like you’re crazy on the inside but looking out and watching yourself, and wishing you could smack the crap out of the wailing freak losing her shit for no reason, just to knock some common sense into her. (Her being me). That’s how I felt. Just out of control.
Just out of control.
So what can you do when you feel that way? What do I do?
My husband is great at winding me down whenever my emotional roller coaster takes me on a ride over and over, never letting me off. He begins by getting me to relax and breath.
Breathing is good. Breathing produces oxygen to the brain.
I know you’re like umm duh, Jodi. But you’d be amazed at how often I forget to breathe.When you are depressed and upset over a million things and yet nothing at the same time, it’s clearly confusing and your brain and body seize up, go stiff, tight and you forget to do the in and out breathing thing that provides life to your body.
- Take some me time – meaning finding a place alone where I can just shut my mind off and think about nothing. Nothing but my happy place. Like Peter Pan, I look for my happy thought so I can fly.
- Listen to music – Focusing on something else helps my mind focus on things that are more positive, instead of the negativity filling my brain up with nasty thoughts or images, fears or worries. Music allows me to sing, or just unwind.
- Hugs. Lots of Hugs – It might be hard to believe but hugs are the cure for anything. I seriously believe that. A good hug goes a long way, filling you up with positive vibes. When my anxiety gets bad and I’m feeling the doom. I ask hubby or even my kids to wrap their arms around me and just hug me close. The minute they do, it’s like the world’s worries just melt away.
- Write it Down – Sometimes the only way I can work through the monster emotions of depression is to write them down. What I’m thinking. What I’m feeling. It’s fueled by my brain and negativity it’s focused on. You can’t just smile and be okay. But you can write down what has you upset, angry, sad, emotional. Getting it out is like a release. Best of all you can throw it out so nobody reads it.
Anyhow, like I said it’s been a hellish week and lately I’ve been blue. Being blue is okay. It is not the end of the world. It may make me feel alone or scared and worried, but it also lets me know I’m alive and I can do things to focus, breathe and embrace those other feelings causing me to turn inside out. And when none of those things work, I search for online therapy, articles, and advice on how to cope with depression that truly helps me.