The Day of an Anxious Depressive

Unfortunately, I live in a cycle of anxiety-depression-anxiety-depression. Some of you may understand, some may not.

When I sought therapy for the first time since the quack I saw 30+ years ago, it was due to crippling anxiety over my health. When diagnosed with cancer—but told that the surgery removed it, and I “will probably” never have to worry about cancer again—should be enough to calm most people. Instead, my mind went into overdrive with anxiety.

I doubted every doctor I received opinions from. I Googled all there is to Google about the type of cancer I had. I read boring medical studies. I looked at forums of survivors, and those who are currently in the fight. By the way, not a good way for me to deal with my fears.

With the help of my current therapist, I have learned to tame that anxiety producing element over my health status. It’s not like I don’t worry a bit about my next scan, I just don’t feel as if I’m going to die of a heart attack first. She also helped me through my grief and depression.

The place I came from was scary for me. I now experience anxiety over slipping back to the bottom of the bottom again. So, every time I have a bad day, it turns into anxiety over depression. Logically, I know that everybody has bad, or off days. In my mind, one bad day plants a little seed. Two bad days in a row, and I’m convinced I’m going to slip back into depression. I create a flurry of anxiety that I can’t control. I create a mind state which is very defeatist. Before I even get too far into my day, I feel physically ill.

It’s the next topic of discussion with my therapist.

What my post is really about? I have found some success. I mean serious success. I no longer feel the need to please everybody. If someone doesn’t like what I have to say, that is totally fine with me. It doesn’t mean I’m a rotten person not worthy of anybody’s love.

This is something I have been working on for what seems like decades—well, actually it has been that long. It didn’t happen overnight, and I didn’t recognize it until I was exposed to what would usually trigger a barrage of tearing myself down, had no effect on me.

This is big!!!

I’m not so bad today, I’m trying to approach my challenges of the day with a different frame of mind. I woke up with songs playing in my head, and not an “oh crap–I must get out of bed, but I don’t want to”.

I know that thoughts are powerful, and I try to control mine—I try to remain positive. However, overcoming anxiety has been a process for me. My mind is in a good place today, I will try to keep it there.

I’ll let you know if it works.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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33 Responses to The Day of an Anxious Depressive

  1. aviets says:

    Brilliant! -Amy

  2. blissfulignorancetabitha says:

    Did it work? x

    • April says:

      What? The keeping my thoughts positive? Still working on it. Not exactly Ms. Happy Pants, but I’m not exactly depressed. However, it is 1:30 in the afternoon and I am still in my pajamas.

      • blissfulignorancetabitha says:

        The day is young then, still time to get dressed
        It’s 7.35pm here and all I want to do is go to bed. Cannot be bothered eating. The vacuum has been at the bottom of the stairs for 2 days now and the washing machine is full. x

  3. suzjones says:

    “If someone doesn’t like what I have to say, that is totally fine with me. It doesn’t mean I’m a rotten person not worthy of anybody’s love.”
    That’s something I still need to work through.
    I’m glad things are working well for you though my friend. You deserve the sunshine after all this rain.

    • April says:

      If I can turn around my way of thinking, so can you. I think I spent a few more years believing that than you have, and I actually can let some things roll off. Keep practicing!

      • suzjones says:

        April, I have spent most of my life worrying about what other people think and doing my best to make them happy. I know I can get over this.
        Thanks for the encouragement.

        • April says:

          It’s a trait that I had perfected for myself, mine started with that little redhead girl, with the uncommon name, who was so shy she couldn’t look anyone in the eye–worried about doing something wrong all the time so that people wouldn’t think bad of me–going out of my way to please. It’s a hard “habit” to break. For the record, I think you’re wonderful.

  4. mewhoami says:

    April, that is a great accomplishment. Trying to please everyone will only lead to disappointment. I know this to be true in my own life.

    Your mind is in a good place *today*. That’s what it’s all about. Taking it one day at a time and not worrying about tomorrow. Today is here, so that’s the day to live.

    • April says:

      Thanks, I’m doing pretty well today too. I need to quit panicking every time I have a down day. We all have them, they don’t equal a full blown episode of depression.

      • mewhoami says:

        Glad to hear you’re doing well. We do all have them. That’s for certain. Like Sue said, somewhere, it’s how we handle it that matters.

        • April says:

          What I have to learn—I’m not a failure because I’m having a bad day, and I can’t snap out of it. Sounds weird, but that’s what I do to myself. Makes no sense, I wouldn’t make others feel worse when having a bad day, I don’t know why I do it to myself. Sigh—I’ll get there eventually.

  5. I am just NOW learning that I don’t have to please everyone. I haven’t mastered that yet. I still get twisted up by it. But it’s a powerful thing to realize, and now to just implement it. What a burden that one is. Good luck with all of this. That positivity and self talk can do wonders!

  6. reocochran says:

    I understand a lot of what you are talking about. My best girlfriend from college, Patrice, has anxiety disorder and hears voices. I don’t think she is schizophrenic but she is bi-polar and tells me how she feels in each level. She has a great psychologist or counselor who listens named Dr. Miller. Since I am sure no one would know what city she lives in and her Dr’s name is common, I just wanted you to know how I do care and listen. I got to see her this summer and we were so happy, we have seen each other a few times over the 36 years since I graduated. She was my Maid of Honor and lives quite far away but we talk at least once a month. Hugs for you, April for sharing this challenging “walk” in life and so glad your cancer is gone. Believe it, embrace it! I am a people pleaser, to this day. Cannot break my ‘worry’ button, either! We have more in common than you may imagine! Smiles, Robin

    • April says:

      Thanks Robin! I will probably always be a people pleaser, but there are simply some people who will never be pleased no matter what I do. It’s those people I have learned to quit trying with.

  7. Tracy says:

    That’s huge April!!! Isn’t is amazing how long it takes us sometimes to realize our triggers and that we don’t have to please anyone!!!!! Thinking of you!!

  8. Gallivanta says:

    Yay! Hope the day works out okay.

  9. Great post!

    So what is at the core of this anxiety-depression that many of us confront? What could we do to face the ‘doom and gloom’ possibilities that flutter around in the mind? Would you say these are linked to certain attachments that we continue to hold onto and the fear of loss thereof? If so what could be the way forward?

    Shakti

    • April says:

      Oh my, a lot of questions. Some of which I’m still searching for answers to. My belief, which is not intended to be represented as a professional opinion, is that how we grow, the environment we grow up in, and how we interpret situations are all contributing factors to anxiety and depression. I also believe that people have a chemical makeup in their brains which causes depression. Medication alone will not help most people. For me, therapy was the key. As far as my anxiety, that started with my personal feelings of insecurity. I never addressed the original triggers of anxiety, and before I knew it, I could barely leave my house. Untreated anxiety snowballs. It usually goes hand-in-hand with depression.

      For me, what is working is the proper medication and therapy to explore exactly what my beliefs are that I hold about certain things. Most of mine is centered around my self esteem. I know where it stems from, but that is no longer important. The important thing is that I have recognized it and have to learn ways to let it go to move forward. I have had to reach a level mind state with medication, to use tools such as taking care of my mental health in a more positive way. I do this by blocking negative thoughts, I practice positive thinking, I help others—and eventually, I will force myself to stick to a healthy eating plan and exercising.

      The process I had to learn to overcome was what I was expecting of myself. I expected to have absolutely no anxiety. That’s not attainable, as some form of anxiety is normal, it’s what keeps us safe–you know, like not walking in the middle of a busy street. I also expected to never have a bad day. Also, not realistic. We all have bad days. When the bad days turn into weeks, months, or even years, with no relief, that is depression, and professional help is needed.

      Traumatic events could be a cause? I don’t know. As I said, I believe it is how our minds grew according to our environment and our interpretations of experiences we went through. Each one of us is unique.

      I don’t understand some mental illnesses because I haven’t experienced some of what others suffer from. What I do know, if you are feeling worthless, hopeless, and it never seems to end, it is important to seek the help of a professional.

  10. Glynis Jolly says:

    I think you can lick this anxiety thing. Sure it will take so time but I really do think you can beat it.

  11. Justin B. says:

    The only thing we can control about others, is nothing. Great post!

  12. April, what makes you special is that you keep trying. Just that one mental decision is huge!! I know very well that grief and anxiety is one step forward and three or four backwards. If all those steps counted as aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, I would be a size 2 (and my self esteem would skyrocket).

    • April says:

      Mine would too. Actually, my “exercise” is getting up and down to let the dog out—which seems to be all stinkin’ day. And I will keep trying because I don’t want to ever be where I was. I was given a second chance when my lung cancer was “accidentally” found. I’ve wasted almost three years in a funk because I couldn’t control my anxiety. Of course, a lot of other things were involved, but I don’t want to waste any more time. There is a lot that is beautiful, and a lot to live for. I want to enjoy it, and not waste my second chance to have a healthy body while doing it.

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