Hi guys and welcome to my place! 🙂
Well, it’s the last post for the Anxiety Series. I want to thank you all for following my rambling about my experience with Anxiety. I also want to thank all of your kind words, sharing this series (being that through WP or Twitter) and specially, I want to thank all of you that came forward in the comments and shared their own experiences. I know it’s not easy to just throw to the World the phase you felt more vulnerable, so in few words YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!
This post will be about the phase I am passing right now! I’m going there and say that I’m not yet 100% cured because I know that I still need to be more cautious than the average person and probably I will have to be like that for the rest of my life. However, I am again able to live a normal life. I can fall asleep after a while of watching Youtube, I don’t over think everything as I did before, I try new things and go out of my comfort zone all the time, I’ve played a bunch of horror games to take my body out of misery after not being able to play them for months… In the end, I feel free and I feel in control. Due to this journey I know myself way better than before and I am able to understand the first indicators of starting feeling anxious or depressive and I’m able to counter attack those feelings right from the bat before going to the point of feeling anxious.
But this series is not about me, it’s about how can I help you guys! To be honest, if you arrived at this point, most probably you don’t need my help anymore, however I want to be certain that you just don’t enter in a temporary good phase and in a couple of months go the step 1 over again. So, let’s start it shall we?
Arthifis from the future here – Just want to say that everything I said before still applies if you need it! And there are things that you need to always be cautious about such as your sleeping schedule and eating habits!!!
It’s time to change yourself… Like really change yourself
One of the hardest things you may do is making the huge effort in changing something about yourself. Humans normally go into daily routines pretty easily… It’s just natural and this is how we live our lives, but more than that, we also tend to go into a constant answer towards some kinds of events and it takes a huge deal to change the way you answer it. It takes a lot of time and you will need to do a lot of thinking and self-examination!
So, the first thing you will need to do now that you are able to do your life and feel in control is to completely understand where does your Anxiety come from. As I said you before, Anxiety ends up make you fear all sort of things, even things that you never experienced a bad outcome, so it’s really important to understand where does your anxiety come from. Take my experience and the food as an example! I never ended up in the hospital for choking or because I ate something that touched the floor before eating, I mean, I’m from the countryside! I’m pretty sure that somewhere in my life back when I was a kid I probably ate bugs and dirt, so… Yeah, does not make any sense. This way I had to understand what was (and is) the major root of my anxiety. In my case is related with other people’s problems and therefore I won’t dwell too much into it since I would need to talk about those people who didn’t choose to have a blog or to have their lives written on the Internet.
Basically, the root of my anxiety is seeing people I care not making what they should do to be happy. This completely stresses me out and for years I’ve been trying to control them and make them act the way I think it’s right for them to live happier lives. The thing is… There is many things that you can’t control.
This way, after understanding the root I had to work on changing myself so I could answer to that problem in other ways than just feel anxious about it. I’m still battling through this and probably will never end up winning, however I’m way better than before. The reason I get so anxious and I want by force change other people behavior is because I love them and I want to see them well, but sometimes pushing around and trying to make them do what is the best for them without even asking is not the way to go. So… What did I had to do? I had to teach myself that we are not in control over everything and we can just do that much. It took me at least one year to be able to completely feel that I’m being able to apply this, so as I said it takes a lot of time.
Non the less, at this point I can say that when a problem arises, I think about it, I do everything in my power and try to solve it, but if I see that’s just out of my control I will let it go. How can I put this… I’m talking like really let it go! I’m not saying, letting it go physically and then think about it for days in a row feeling bad because I can’t help, or thinking in all the possible terrible outcomes that problem may bring. No! I let it go! I think to myself “I can’t do anything about this so I’ll just have to learn how to live with this problem.”. Regarding the outcomes, well, for me the worst outcome will always be death and let’s face it, if you die you won’t have problems anymore right? (AND NO HAPPY EVENTS TOO, SO I’M NOT SAYING DYING IS GOOD BECAUSE IT IS NOT – THIS IS MY THOUGHT PROCESS, BUT ALWAYS WITH THE IDEA THAT I WANT TO LIVE AND EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER). So, yeah, it took a lot of thought process to be able to apply this, moreover I had to change my own personality to be able to do it, until months ago I was that kind of person that I wouldn’t be happy if the people around me weren’t happy… Guess what! There will always be at least one person that is not really that happy and if you use this way of thinking you will never be able to be happy.
In short, my way of seeing life went from “OMG! What is going to happen next? I can’t take it anymore!” to “Come at me b***ch! I’ll kick your ass again… and again… and again until you grow tired of sending me problems!”. Moreover, I’m way more positive towards life and problems in general. Lilly Singhs tweeted this the other way that completely speaks what I feel:
Whenever you feel like you can’t get through it, just remember you have a 100% success rate so far.
And it’s completely true! I’ve past my share of difficulties, heck I still am! Life did get a little bit easier, but it’s still not what you could call a normal amount of problems. However, my way to look at problems and life in general changed a lot!
Sorry, I went and just wrote 1000 words about this subject, but the thing is… This is one of the most important things that you need to work on and I really wanted to transmit how hard it is to do it, but if you don’t give up you end up to be able to anser the root of your anxiety in a healthier way.
So, by being able to be less controlling and to have this kind of perspective that everything that will come I will deal with it in a way or another I’m able to say that I don’t think I will come back to panic attacks or feeling anxious all the time during a long periods of time (I would love it was forever, but let’s face it… Everyone knows that is not going to happen)…
Now that you know yourself USE THAT INFORMATION
As I told you, if you started where I started and you are here, probably you can understand your emotions way better than the average person, so use that information for you own good!
I’m just going to say that everyone has bad days and it’s not because you finally are able to control your anxiety like a boss that means everything will be just peaceful and you will always be happy and have nice days. Nope… Sorry to crush your dreams, but let’s face it! We are talking about life here! However, now that you know yourself better you are able to distinguish between being sad vs. being depressive, nervous vs. anxious, etc… And you can just work your way to just crash the beginning of a depression/anxiety come-back from the bat.
I’ll give you my example. From time to time I’ll go and comment with my boyfriend “I think I’m having anxiety” or “Hmmm I’ve been feeling a little bit depressive in the last few days” and this is what that forwards that comment “Need to treat this” and that’s what I do. I’m anxious? Why is that? Is there anything I can do or not? I can, great let’s do it! No? Well, too bad but I need to continue to live, so I’ll just let it be and I proceed to do things that I know that will calm down my anxiety. Depression is the same thought process.
So, what I want to say is, the moment you feel that you are not feeling that good during some days, go and do some self-examination and face the what and why you are feeling as soon as possible.
Sad and Nervous are also normal feelings to feel
If you suffered from anxiety/depression it’s just normal to feel scared every time you feel sad or nervous/anxious because it may mean that the illness is coming back. Well, let me tell you something! It’s normal to have those kind of emotions and you must not disregard them (if you do that you are just bulking all them in and they will need to come out one day or another), so let’s say your favorite Anime character just died and you feel sad about it, well BE sad! It’s just normal, cry a little if you want, there is no problem with that! It’s human! Let’s say you are going to make a presentation at school, work, in the middle of the street, I dunno, something that is getting out of your comfort zone… You are feeling nervous before you start right? And you are also scared you effe something up right? Completely normal (and good since it helps you to be more focused during the presentation and do a better job).
So, what I want to say is that, we all have emotions and some are “good” and other are “bad”, well in reality all of them are “good”. The human body has been evolving for millions of year now, don’t you that that if some emotions were not important they wouldn’t have just disappeared by now? Feeling scared helps you to be more cautions from an eminent danger, nervous makes you more focused and just do a better job, sad helps you to go through difficult times (I mean crying does make you feel better for some reason right?) – Well, what I have to say is that our bodies have been evolving for a long time so give them a little more credit.
This way it’s important for you to get those feelings and just feel them! If you just control your emotions so you never feel sad or anxious or something, well you will also control your good emotions and never feel happy, excited and so on (Yes, I also controlled my emotions a lot!) HOWEVER, you need to understand what is normal/good for you and what isnt’s… Taking the Anime character as an example… If you feel sad for days in a row because of that character and just feel you are not getting better than there is something wrong and you need to address that. Taking the presentation as an example, if it’s a week before the event and you are already not being able to sleep thinking in all the possible ways how can that go wrong, well that’s not good as well. The presentation will still come and you only gained 2 dark bags below of eyes due to lack of sleep. So feel every emotion you need to feel, but take into account when it stopped from being an emotion to the beginning of anxiety/depression and treat it as soon as possible! (even if a minor one)
Live your life!
The time came where you finally are able to go out of your comfort zone, try new things, feel relaxed, feel happy, so it’s time to live your life and go do everything you didn’t because of your illness! Enjoy your life because… From what we know… We only have one, so it’s better for you to live the most out of it! Smile, laugh, cry, feel nervous, sweat… Feel good and bad, experience life and I guarantee you, it will become brighter! (Just loved how when I wrote this I looked at the window and the rain as stopped and the sun is shining through the clouds! Creepy stuff!).
And that’s it! This is the end of the anxiety series… I know this post was not so “practical” or direct, but in reality at this point I think I gave you all the tools I used to get healthy and at this point it’s more about philosophy than ways of surviving through the day!
Hope the series helped you! Even if it didn’t help, at least I hope that you feel not so alone while fighting against mental illness. As usual, anything you need my door is always open! I can’t guarantee that I will solve your problems, but I promise to listen to you and not make any kind of judgement!