Some of you know that during the past few years I’ve had a hard time dealing with anxiety/depression, and I wanted to take a moment and share a little about my struggles.
This isn’t meant to come off as a “look at me” post, and it’s not a cry for help. I just feel it might be helpful for us to admit that we all deal with crap, and maybe we’ll all start being a little more open with each other.
1) Loneliness. This doesn’t always mean I’m physically alone, but even when I’m around others my default feeling is, “Nobody cares. Nobody understands. Nobody loves me.” Usually this happens because I’ve taught myself to assume the worst. Earlier this year I learned how to manage these feelings in a healthy way by defending positive thoughts instead of the negative.
Example: If a girl who accepts a date with me cancels before the date, instead of assuming she hates me I can choose the opposite approach and tell myself, “She accepted the date so she probably does like me. She’s most likely embarrassed that she had to cancel, so I should be supportive of what she needs to do instead of the date and ask her out again in a few days.” Now, that may not be true, but it’s more likely to be the truth than the negative thought…and which one would you rather defend?
2) I don’t like myself. I find my worth from what others feel about me, which means if I don’t think others like me I don’t have anything to fall back on. When things get really bad I start feeling like if I had never existed everybody’s life would be better. I don’t feel I’ve had a positive impact on anybody’s life, so if I had just not existed all the burdens I’ve placed on people would be gone.
Logically I know these feelings aren’t true, but the feelings themselves are very real. I don’t yet know how to manage that, but I want to like myself.
3) Anxiety keeps me from making any decision. Whenever there are multiple decisions to be made on where to go with my life, my brain will counter every option with reasons for why it won’t work. This means that even if I’m miserable where I am I’ll feel trapped because every possible escape has been blocked by my brain.
Even though making any decision will help get me away from the miserable situation I’m in, I’ll stay there and eventually stop functioning. I won’t be able to get out of bed, I won’t be able to sleep, etc…
I don’t yet know how to manage this one either, but it’s one of the things I’m working on.
Once again, I’m not looking for attention by sharing all this. I just think it might have been helpful years ago to have people I was close to admit that they didn’t have their life figured out either.