Easter and Dealing with Anxiety
I want my blog to be real and open and honest. I want it to be a place where I can share my feelings, and for others to feel that they have a safe place to share theirs. If I can help someone by sharing what I'm going through, then I feel it's worth it to put myself out there.
I have mild depression and anxiety, and it started about 10 years ago. Some days it is just in the background, but other times it can overwhelm me. I think I'm pretty good at masking it because only a few close family members and friends even know about it, and now the whole internet will know (or the 2 other people that read my blog, lol). In all seriousness, it's not an easy topic to bring up, but I feel like it needs to be talked about more (in general). The worst way to feel is alone when you're dealing with these intense emotions.
I started noticing it when my mom got sick. I want to do a whole entire post on dealing with grief and the grieving process. But to give you a short background; my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2005. It was Stage 4, and the Dr.'s gave her 3 to 6 months to live max. She lived 3 years, and she kicked cancer's butt for those 3 years. Her death hit me harder than anything I could have ever imagined. You just can't prepare yourself for something like the death of a sick parent.
I wanted to bring this up now because holidays are usually hard, and it brings out my anxiety more than other times. Don't get me wrong, we had a pretty good weekend, but the anxiety was still there lurking and waiting in the background.
I had the day off on Friday and I felt guilty. I felt anxious about the work that I needed to be doing instead of having the day off. But Remi was out of school, and my grandma needed my help going shopping. We ended up having a good day, and nothing blew up at work that couldn't be handled another time.
Easter Sunday Remi and I went with Mimi to church and then went out to lunch (Camp met us later). I am not a very religious person, but, I went for my grandma because she has not been able to go in several months due to her injuries and not being able to drive. It made her happy, and therefore it made me happy. In that moment I didn't feel guilty or anxious, but I felt happy and proud and loved.
The part that always gets to me during holidays is that my mom is missing. She never met Camp or Remi. When she died, I was in a bad place emotionally and in an unhealthy relationship, and I want her to know that I have the most amazing husband and an incredibly sweet stepdaughter. My mom loved celebrating holidays; she loved any excuse to get together with her family. And it does make me sad to think about all of the good times she has missed with us.
There are many things that help me deal with my anxiety. I know that what works for me will not work for everyone, but these are just my experiences and opinions.
- Talking a run or doing some type of exercise - Just getting outside almost always helps, at least a little bit.
- Writing - This helps when I'm so overwhelmed and I know I can't talk to Camp or my friends. Writing helps me get out all of the negative emotions in a safe and healthy way.
- Seeing a therapist - This has helped me so so much. It has been tough to find a great therapist, but the search is worth it. My therapist has given me so many tools to work with when I get overly emotional, and after several years of seeing her, I can really tell a difference.
- Medication - I was very very resistant to medication for a long time. I finally gave in about 6 years ago, and I'm so glad that I did. It took some trial and error to find the right combination, but it has helped me tremendously. For anyone who is scared to try it, I encourage you to take the chance. The medications that I take do not change my personality, but it helps me not get as anxious about stressful situations.
In sticking with the truth, this was a hard post to write and even harder to hit publish. I encourage anyone dealing with anxiety or depression to get help, and not feel scared to reach out.