Support Systems: “Maybe we are the strong ones”

Maybe we are the strong ones

This is often something I tell myself when things are rough.  Whether this is true or not, I don’t know.  I just know it gives me strength sometimes and consoles my wearied soul.

As a person who has mental illness, I often feel weak and helpless compared to others.  I will feel discouraged that I am not like everybody else (whatever that means).  It seems that everyone else’s path is so smooth and effortless, whereas mine was full of self-doubt and obstacles.

How can they do that so easily?  I would have not survived that situation.  Why couldn’t I be like them?

Often, I will hear people say how strong someone is to get through a difficult situation with such positivity.  What about us?  Are we not strong also for being able to get through a difficult situation without any positivity or light sometimes?

Maybe we are the strong ones

Sometimes I try to explain depression to others using the metaphor of a car.  When a car is running smoothly and there is enough gas, it is a smooth ride.  However, when the engine breaks down or it runs out of gas, the ride becomes bumpy and difficult.  When a person with depression “runs out of gas,” we still have to continue to push the car.  Every morning we wake up, and we decide that we still want to keep “pushing,” although every sign points to giving up.

Maybe we are the strong ones

Having anxiety, it feels like our minds are telling us that there is danger everywhere.  Yet, we will still get up and face these dangers everyday.  Sometimes, it feels like we are walking into a burning house, and yet we still keep on going even though it feels like the house will come down on us any moment.

Maybe we are the ones with the “guts”

Maybe we are the superheroes

Maybe we are the superhumans

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Support Systems – Short-Term Fortune-Telling

I think every person’s support systems are different when it comes to anxiety.  Honestly, I think whatever works for you at that moment, is what works.  It could be anything really.   For me, sometimes, the best thing is just to tell myself to “take one day at a time” or sometimes even “one hour at a time.”  I am the master of fortune telling impending doom.  Every bad thing that could possibly happen to a person I have probably considered.  So, sometimes, instead of fortune telling my impending doom, I tell myself that it is much more realistic, to fortune tell the next hour or the next few hours.  Life, sometimes, seems much more livable that way.

I know it sounds ridiculous to fortune tell that in the next hour you will need to go bathroom or something mundane like that.  Yet, sometimes, just simple tasks like getting up from the desk and going to the kitchen to get a snack are enough you to pull you out of that spiralling tunnel of anxiety.

Sure, this definitely doesn’t always work for me, but sometimes, just sometimes, these short fortuning days turn into long fortuning days, where I am able to begin fortune telling what I am doing next week.

By the way, I am no means, an expert at dealing with my anxiety.  These are just some ideas that have helped me sometimes.  The truth is that I have been writing this blog to help distract from other troubles in my life right now.  Ironically, anxiety is the one thing that not only torments me, but also the topic I feel most passionate and confident writing about.  Life is strange sometimes, isn’t it?

Support Systems – Keep it Simple

I suffer from anxiety.  In my experience, sometimes the most small nugget of advice or inspiration could be enough to be keep me motivated and afloat for a while.  I hope this blog will be that “support system” for someone when they feel like they are sinking.

I, by no means, am an advocate for taking medication for anxiety.  However, I am also not a doctor, who can medically determine what is the right treatment for a patient.  I am just a person that has experienced this condition and this is what has helped me.

At this point, as an anxious person, the thought going through my head is “what if this doesn’t work for me?”  I know for sure, even though this might or might not help you, I know something will and “things will get better,” so don’t give up.

This next nugget of advice, is a support system I use often when I feel like my anxiety is spiralling out of control.  It comes from Tumblr post from the author, John Green, replying to a question from one of his readers.

In his post he talks about how he treats his anxiety.

“I treat my anxiety the same way I treat any other illness: I accept that I am sick, listen to my doctors, pay attention to peer-reviewed studies of what helps in treatment of the condition, and stick with the treatment regimen.” — John Green

John Green’s Tumblr Post

For me, whenever I feel like I am losing the fight against my anxiety, I always go back to basics.  In my case, whenever I can’t win whatever is happening in my brain, I call my doctor and follow the treatment. This usually means taking a walk or taking my medication.

I hate taking medication.  It makes me feel like a loser because I feel like I can’t control myself — by myself.  However, just thinking of my condition as simply a medical condition that needs to be treated by a doctor has helped me tremendously.  We learn that as a child that if we are sick, we go see the doctor, and accept the treatment.  It really is as simple as that.