On bad days, getting out of bed is hard; trying to stop the tides seem a lot easier.
When these days do happen, all I do is curl up in bed, keep the room as dark as possible and ignore all forms of human contact.
This however, is the wrong mentality. When you embrace the darkness, you perpetuate a cycle that is hard to break. As this happens, therapy, even medication, becomes moot.
We need to take control of our challenges and not vice versa. For me, I’ve realized it’s not just about fighting it but embracing it, to know that it’s a part of me.
I stand up, and tell myself to do something productive. It may not be something you love, it could even be something as simple as taking a shower. But that’s the miracle of the human brain. When you take charge, your body heals, your mind heals.
Each step gets easier.
Yes, there will be days when you fall back. Remember, do not beat yourself over it. As my psychiatrist says, the hardest thing to fight is your body. But with each practice, with each attempt, you grow. You overcome.
You get better at controlling your mind.
For me, my depression, which I lived with for 12 years without treatment, has resulted in general anxiety disorder (GAD). The trigger is most likely due to the chronic pain that I’ve been living with for just as long.
When the anxiety hits, it brings me to depression. On a bad day, I force myself to at least tell someone; someone who can give me words of encouragement. When that happens, slowly, I tell myself that it’s going to get better and I get up and stand tall (or as tall as I can at that point in time).
Being in fashion marketing, I like to challenge myself. It’s been only 3 months since my diagnosis of GAD but I push myself, to travel out of my comfort zone, without meds.
If it gets really bad, I’ll take a pill but instead of beating myself up, I tell myself that hey, at least I’ve gone/done something I haven’t done in a while. And that’s something to be joyful about.
And that gives me the strength to push through.
Of course, in saying that, you need to understand yourself. You may not be able to do so immediately, or to travel out without someone. So know your baseline and just push yourself slightly over it.
You’ll definitely grow stronger and you can beat your own mind. When you do, be proud of yourself. A small step goes a long way.
And we will be proud together with you.