Saturday, June 28, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: It's Okay to Have a Bad Day

Call me a slow learner, but I had a realization the other day. I was struggling a little bit the other day and, of course, I was feeling guilty that I was feeling a bit down. Then, I thought to myself, "It's okay to be sad sometimes." This isn't an excuse to look at the glass half-empty, or to be a grump, but it is okay if you have a day you don't feel exactly like yourself. Everyone has days when they are excited to go to bed so they can forget about today and start with a fresh tomorrow. When you are feeling down, try to not feel guilty about it, and look forward to the many good days to come.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: "This Might Be Possible"

A few thoughts I've had lately:

Thought 1: Recently, I've been running. My husband and I are signed up to run a half marathon in July. (Disclaimer: I would NEVER have considered myself a "runner." Don't think I'm totally awesome, if you don't run, I was where you were just a few short months ago.) I've had a lot of ups and downs as I have been training for this half marathon.

Thought 2: Changing gears a little (but I'll tie it back...). Have you seen Disney's movie, "National Treasure"? It is a family favorite of ours. Near the beginning of the movie, Ben Gates decides that in order to do his property duty to his country, America, he needs to steal the Declaration of Independence. (It sounds a little fishy here, but it all makes sense in the movie). His friend Riley spends a lot of time listing off to Ben why this is impossible. He talks about the extensive security when the document is on and off of display, guards, etc. Ben points out that there can be a million reasons why it won't work, but you only need one way to make it work. He knows that one way to make it work. When he explains his plan, Riley says, "This might be possible." Ben responds, "It might."

Back to Thought 1: When I started running, I'll try not to be too dramatic here, I wanted to die (not too dramatic...right?). I would go one mile, have a side ache, only be thinking of quitting the whole time, and wish I was at home eating ice cream (I often wish that). I would almost want to laugh (or cry) at myself for thinking that I could actually train for a half marathon. "I can barely go one mile, how am I going to go 13.1!?"

Combining thoughts 1 & 2: For some reason, I kept running. After a while, it got a little easier. (Easier, not easy.) One day, I ran 5 miles! Then 6! About a week and a half ago, Jordan and I ran EIGHT miles. Eight! I had never run that far in my life. I remember at one point thinking, "This half marathon might be possible." (Emphasis on the might). I'm still not quite there, but something that once seemed absolutely impossible, now seems like it might be possible.

Thought 3: I've had similar moments with my anxiety. Sometimes, anxiety and depression make me feel like life is terrible. Every task, even as small as brushing my teeth, seems monumental. But, during these times, there are glimpses of hope. The moments when I think, "I can probably get through this. It might be possible." Even though it may sound like a small amount of hope, when you have been deep in the holds of depression and anxiety, this small amount of hope is incredible.

You could think of MILLIONS of reason why life stinks and why you should just live in your pit of depression and anxiety. I could list off reasons why we should just throw in the towel and bury our heads in the sand. BUT, I could also list MILLIONS of more reasons why life is wonderful. The truth is, even though there are millions of things to be depressed and anxious about, you only need one reason to believe that getting through your anxious and depressing moments might be possible. (Spoiler: It is possible!)

Thought 4: One more movie quote, from "Love Comes Softly." A young girl in the movie asks her father if the woman he recently married is okay. (She had recently been widowed and basically married him because it made sense to both of them. He needed a mother for his daughter, and she needed a provider.) When she asks, he responds, "No, but she's going to be."

Sometimes you need to admit that right at this moment, you aren't okay. But, you are going to be. I guess that is how faith works. Even if life is hard right now, remember and have faith that even if you aren't okay right now, you're going to be. You only need one reason to keep trying and to live life to its fullest.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Anxiety and Depression: A Note to Loved Ones...

If you have anxiety and/or depression and you are reading this blog, I hope you feel like you can connect, in some way, to my experiences and the experiences of others shared here. If you are reading and you haven't experienced the feelings and thoughts that anxiety and depression might be a little confused, skeptical, worried, afraid etc. That is okay. Until I experienced it for myself, I was extremely confused. I didn't understand why my loved ones were struggling. Why couldn't they just "get over it?"

Here are just a few thoughts for those who may not experience anxiety and depression, but have loved ones who do.

This is a start, but I would love to write more posts on this subject.

If you have anxiety/depression, what support do you need from a loved one? Or, what do you hope they will try to understand?

If you are a loved one to someone with anxiety/depression, how do you make an effort to love them?

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