Anxiety can freeze you in one spot. It can stop you from doing the everyday things, the not so great things, and even the fun things that you used to enjoy, like seeing friends or writing something on your blog (ahem).
It can take a long time to move on from constant feelings of anxiety. Truth be told, I think that in a lot of cases with mental illness, it never truly goes away, but instead changes size throughout your life. One day (or month or year) your depression is really big and dominating over your life, but for a few years after that it’s just a shadow of what it once was. I know that sometimes I will feel bad again, and I know that that is okay.
I’m finally reaching a point in which I think the depression and anxiety is shrinking in size. I knew it had become a lot smaller in recent weeks; my down days were less recurring, self-hating thoughts weren’t so frequent; and I felt like good things lay ahead (and were actually possible).
I had a meeting yesterday which in recent times I would have hidden from. I would have had the intention to go to said meeting when making arrangements; planning the time and location; but on the actual day, or even less than an hour before the meeting was supposed to begin, I would have psyched myself out and curled up in a ball instead of attending. But yesterday I knew that I had to go – that I wanted to go – in order to make a step towards a more positive future for myself.
It was a good meeting, which will hopefully lead to some really great things. Taking that seemingly small step helped me realise that I am in control of my own fate – no longer is depression, anxiety or self-hate going to stop me from doing things that I want to do or even just things that I enjoy.
I’m excited (for the first time in a long time) for my future, I’m excited to make positive steps towards it, and I’m ready to start achieving all the things I want in order to create the life that I want.
One day I hope to help others feel that way too. A lot of things can take control of our lives, but I hope that by learning from my own experience I can help other people regain that control (and happiness) and live the awesome lives that they deserve.
Trust me when I say that it is not a simple process to get to this stage. I didn’t just flick a switch and turn off all the negativity. It took a lot of self-care, down days, and getting through each day (when I didn’t want to) in order to feel the way I do now. It’ll take as long as it takes – it’s a personal thing that can’t be measured. There’s no countdown clock. But you can get there. Remember to not put too much pressure on yourself to get better. You’ll get better when you are ready to.
If you’re not ready but want to talk, please do feel free to get in touch. I can be a listening ear if you need one. Alternatively, I really recommend calling the Samaritans or SANE (details below).
If you know somebody who is going through a bad time, or you think a friend might need someone to talk to, reach out to them! A simple text asking how they are doing (ask again if they respond with ‘fine’, as nine times out of ten ‘fine’ means ‘not fine’) goes a long way.
Have you folks had any triumphs over mental illness? And by triumphs, I mean anything. Brushing your teeth. Getting back into work. Having friends over. Anything! I would love to know.
Samaritans: 116 123
SANE: 0300 304 7000