Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are progressing. That you are moving beyond being a slave to your struggles, whatever they may be. My struggles are anxiety and depression. I’ve been working hard on not letting my anxiety and depression control me. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact, that they both will always be a piece of my life. They will always be lurking in the conference room of my mind. Giving their two cents to every experience and decision. I’m trying to make peace with the fact that they will always be there. It’s difficult to understand that concept, but I believe that that is what can save me. To stop fighting them and just let them be in the background.
In the past, I have believed that my anxiety and depression can protect me. Anxiety allows me to predict every scenario that can go wrong. Allowing me to make moves before I ever get hurt. Assuming the worst so I will never be disappointed. Depression keeps me small. It has me believe that I’m not worth anything, so there is no point in trying. I stay insecure because then I’ll always be prepared for pain and leaving. In a twisted way, I saw anxiety and depression making the majority of the decisions was a form of protection. Now, I know that it only causes me pain.
Now, even though I’m well aware of this fact – that doesn’t mean it is easy to let go of either. I think self-awareness is the first step, but it’s not a cure-all. So I have been doing more so maybe, I can get better. I have been going to therapy. Addressing current issues and connections with the past. Developing coping mechanisms and ways to deal with anxiety and depression when they come in full force. I have been writing (as you can tell). Documenting my feelings and my progress. Putting my thoughts and struggles on paper, so maybe, someone else can feel less alone so that I will feel less alone as well. I have been making and updating my list of wellness tools. I remember this and look at this when I need to do one of them. I learn about what triggers my anxiety and depression. Learn what causes it so I can be ready for it.
Now, these were just some of the ways I try to take care of myself and not let anxiety or depression take over. Some days I’m better at it than others. Sometimes I lose. I hurt those around me and myself. On those days, it is hard to see the progress. I feel as if there is no point of even trying to get better anymore. That maybe living alone will be the easiest, and the best thing to do. On those days, I have to remind myself of the progress I have made. How I haven’t cried or questioned loved ones. I haven’t had an anxiety attack more than once a week recently. How I am better at recognizing and holding back hurtful things and not speaking from anxiety.
These are small victories, but they are still wins. I’m still living and moving forward. I’m not letting anxiety and depression take over as much. Taking a look at the good days is important, especially when the bad ones come. I’m going to continue to make progress and not stop. I will never be complacent until I can truly have a grasp on my anxiety and depression.
Recognize your progress. Congratulate yourself. You’re doing it. You’re surviving. Breathe and move forward.