I’ve talked a little about my struggle with anxiety, and depression in an earlier blog, but just scratched the surface. I have found that mental health has become a lot more “socially acceptable” to talk about, and more people are feeling free to talk about their experiences myself included. We do however still have a long way to go in regard to understanding and interacting with those who struggle.
Depression and Anxiety can be very overwhelming, it isn’t something that you can predict the onset of; Tuesday I’m gonna have a panic attack, or in August I’m gonna sink into a deep depression. It sneaks up on you like a thief in the night, it allows you no breathing room, and it isn’t something to which you can apply logic to solve. You can learn coping skills and, tools to help you through, but even those are just bandages that can be ripped off or wear out. It’s bloody work, it’s hard, exhausting labor. The things that most often help me through are my faith in God, and my Family and Friends. They carry me when I feel as though I can no longer walk. I wake up and fight because life is worth fighting for, God has a plan for me and who am I to question that. That’s is the healthy way of viewing things. When I am struggling, I still know these things intellectually, but damned if I can tell my heart and the other half of my brain to believe them.
The darkness comes in and hugs me like it’s my dearest friend in the world, my most trusted confidant. It tells me not to trust in something I can’t see, and that I really mean nothing to my family and friends, that I am just a burden. It hides in corners and waits for me, it appears on TV and terrifies me. It brings up past events and reminds me that they could happen again at any time, it appears in times of decision to make me doubt my abilities, and worth. I hate it, I wish it would go away forever, but here is the unsuspecting part, I Hold it dear. I know that sounds crazy, but it has become a part of who I am. I believe it is what makes me a more empathetic, understanding, kind person. I have been able to counsel people who are struggling with similar things in a way that others may not be able to because I can relate. A silver lining, I suppose.
Which brings me to another point. That silver lining thing that so many people tell you to look for when they know your struggling. How many times have I been told “you have so many things to be grateful for what do you have to feel anxiety over? Gahhhhhhhh believe it or not that is one of the things that causes the anxiety and depression. It’s very unexpected I know, but when I’m in a cycle of depression I remind myself of what I have, and it often times makes me feel like crap because I have no right to feel bad when I have so many things I should feel great about.
So, for those who are wondering how to help someone who is struggling don’t stop communicating with them, keep inviting them out, hug them, listen to them, love them even more, and pray for them.
Take care my friends
Yours in truth
Karen is a great listener and a solid shoulder to lean on. She has a degree in History and English and a diploma in Counselling Skills. She struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression. She understands the importance of having someone to talk to about your struggles. She loves singing, researching her genealogy, cheering for her favorite hockey teams, swimming, hiking and spending time with friends.
You can follow Karen on Twitter.