In the thick of it!
As my site is on the topic of anxiety, depression and recovery. I think it's a good time for this blog. I'm going through a period of anxiety which is debilitating and I'm surviving it. Whilst feeling like this, the last thing I want to do is write a blog..... or do anything. But as as we know life goes on, home to run, work to do, kids to take care of, social life, friends to support as well as taking care of my recovery! But depression and anxiety is like any pain, when it passes (as it always does) I forget just how uncomfortable it can be. I say uncomfortable because it is manageable and this is the truth...... today.
So here's some of my symptoms;
Insomnia or waking early
Waking up full of fear and panic
Trouble falling asleep
Being tired all day
Tearful...... or shouty!
Mood swings (see above)
A huge sense of being overwhelmed
Feeling unable to cope
Racing heart rate
High blood pressure
A feeling of falling
Pins and needles in my hands and feet
Lethargy..... or unable to sit down
The thing I hate the most is my feeling of disconnection, it stops me enjoying or being able to engage with books, TV or people around me.
However, saying all this, I am trudging through it one foot in front of another, a day at a time, and I know it will pass. I have always used medication and would always advise people to see their GP, there is no shame in taking medication or having talking therapy. There is such a taboo around being nuts ;) (I describe myself as this...... takes the power out of it) but today people are talking about it much more than they used to, tap into this. Engage with others and if you are in a 12 step programme use the steps, other members and meetings 👍👊
Here's my survival list;
First things first.... keep your life as simple as you can for as long as you need
Prioritise the things you have to do, for me it's kids and recovery, don't worry about housework, things that can be done later!
Take magnesium it is amazing for depression and fatigue
Eat well, try and cut out the crap! We are what we eat......it's a fact
Exercise.... you won't want to but it produces endorphins that make us happy
Practice yoga or meditation.....I cannot stress how life changing this can be
Get up, shower, put nice clothes on and some slap....best foot forward ;)
Keep it in the day.... yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn't here yet... so don't worry about it
Be kind to yourself..... have a massage, beauty treatment, nice meal
See friends who make you feel good about yourself
Be social but don't attend things you really don't want to.... no one will miss you ;) I promise
Watch uplifting films and TV
Read inspirational books
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants..... this just aggravates the anxiety
Don't beat yourself up about what you haven't done.... instead make a list of all the things (no matter how small) you have achieved today
Write a gratitude list every night, I bet you can name at least ten things
Get out in the open air and walk
Think about seeing a therapist
Think yourself happy.....Fake it to make as they say
Most of all, know this is not your fault just as any illness isnt, accept you are powerless over certain situations and know that sometimes we just have to roll with life on life's terms. During these episodes I see light through the clouds, moments of peace and I hang on to them..... knowing more will come.
I'm happy to talk to people about my anxiety, alcoholism and recovery, when I feel like this.... I'm not going to lie.... a drink seems appealing, a night off from this head of mine would be a real treat!! but I know for me this is not an option..... apart from anything else alcohol is a depressant so it's like pouring petrol on a fire! So this is when all my tools of recovery are pulled out of the box.
I believe mental health is a chemical and medical issue but of course our behaviour and life situations can be triggers, this is why doing the next right thing can simply get you through the day. Put others before yourself, thinking of others gets you out of yourself. Trust me it works.
But above all it's acceptance and hard work that will make you better, think of it as physio for a bad leg! And keep working at it, things can only get better.
Lots of love