Depression & Anxiety

That Old Familiar Feeling…

The other night, I felt a familiar feeling begin to creep up on me. I sensed it crawling up my spine and slowly branch out across my back and over my shoulders, encircling its arms around me, tightening its vice-like grip…

That old familiar feeling of anxiety was back.

While I’m getting much better at identifying when it hits, I don’t always clue in quickly enough to try and stop it from taking over.

What did I have to be anxious about that night? Absolutely nothing!

So, what was up? Why did overtake me if everything was fine?

Examine What Leads Up To An Anxiety Attack

I think it’s important when we are dealing with anxiety that we take a step back and examine what leads up to an attack. For me, the other night, I realized that I had been comparing myself to others. Basically, I was comparing my beginning to their middle or end results. How crazy is that?

The more I think about the situation, the more I feel that the enemy was pushing my buttons, and even though I know how crazy it is to compare myself to where someone is in their walk, in their life, with where I am, I let the deceiver whisper in my ear.

And I found myself believing him.

But not now. As I sat reflecting and writing down my thoughts on the situation that night, I honestly felt the anxiety slipping away. I felt myself coming to my senses.

Stop Comparing Myself!

For me, comparing myself (which is not something we should be doing in the first place) to others is never a good thing. It never ends well for me, and I usually end up anxious or depressed, or both.

I’ve been guilty, in the past and even the present, of looking toward an end, a solution or what have you, and wanting that result and then feeling like a failure because I am not there, I’m not where I want to be. What I fail to look at, or remember, is that in order to get the end results, I need to take the necessary steps to get there.

A Long Process

Usually, results don’t happen over night. Sometimes it’s a long, hard process; other times the journey is quicker. But regardless of how long it takes, The journey must begin with a single step, followed by another and another until we get to the solution, the end, the goal.

How many times do we, as humans, desire something and then when the going gets tough, or we realize the process is going to take us much longer than we anticipated, do we give up instead of pushing on? I’ve read, or heard, of a saying (I can’t recall where, though) that talks about how if we really want to achieve something, we will put the necessary work into it.

Put One Foot In Front of the Other

So now, in order to get to the place I wish I was at (the results I am desiring), I need to put one foot in front of the other, so to speak, and do whatever it takes if I want to succeed and see my dreams come to fruition.

And, a day or so later, I took the next step down a new path. It’s scary and exciting, but I’m doing it!

How do you head off an anxiety attack? Let me know in the comments!

Depression & Anxiety

If I Wasn’t On My Medication…

When depression has its nasty claws embedded deep into my very soul, it sucks the life right out of me. It leaves me not willing, or able, to enjoy anything, and it won’t let me do what I want.

I have a few hobbies that I really enjoy – knitting, spinning yarn, reading and some new recent hobbies (calligraphy/hand lettering, going to the driving range, and fishing) that I have picked up since my last bout of depression and anxiety.  When I am not in the midst of my illness, I am able to really enjoy life!

I recently heard from a friend of someone, a teenager, who said that he suffers with depression and doesn’t want to be on medication because being depressed helps him to see things as they really are, and to see that most people are pretty  delusional, especially in their thoughts or understanding of depression.  I haven’t had any conversations with this young man, but it makes me sad and angry to hear this.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH TAKING MEDICATION FOR DEPRESSION (OR ANXIETY)!  Mental illness is just that – an illness. And just like other illnesses that require medication to help, taking medication for a mental illness is done so that it helps people to live life in a normal way.  Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain; all the cylinders aren’t firing properly.  Medication helps balance the chemicals.

If I’m not on my medication, I am not at my best. I have no desire to do anything, I want to sleep all the time, I find no humour in anything, life sucks; I’m just existing.  For me, and countless other sufferers, taking medication helps us to live and enjoy life.

I have been really having so much fun learning new hobbies – things I never thought I would enjoy – primarily the golf and fishing. I now get to experience these with my husband, son, and friends – and I have so much fun! I’ve also been really enjoying learning to do calligraphy/hand lettering for the past week or so (and while I’m not the best at this yet, I’m already seeing improvement). It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – and now I’m doing it.

I would be missing out on all of these great things (and more) if I wasn’t on my medication. I’m very thankful for it.  If you think medication might help you, please talk to your doctor; and honestly consider it.  You might find out just how thankful you are for it as well.