Special Edition Post: My Battle with Anxiety & Depression / What Now?
Back with a final installment of this broody topic. Sorry, it must be said. Everyone has a story to tell and this one is mine.
So, I’ve come to the conclusion that anxiety and depression will be lifelong friends of mine, and that is just a fact. I will never be “rid” of them but I can learn to deal with them in constructive ways and also not set myself up for them when I feel the tendency for them to strike. That is the one good thing about them, I can usually gage when they will attack. Once in a great while they come out of the blue, but there are coping strategies for those as well. (PSSSST!!!…Exercise is a GREAT way to help alleviate symptoms of depression and work out anxiety).
One of the amazing tools I found during my worst years of struggle was Lucinda Bassett’s program: “Attacking Anxiety and Depression”. I bought it back in the days before DVD’s and CD’s. So they are all on cassette tapes and videos! I have a stash of flash cards and various other paraphernalia to help me deal when life gets really bad. Bar none, this was one of the best things I ever bought for myself. My Dad actually discovered her on a T.V. program and told me about her mission and company. What a blessing!
I am also a Christian, and a strong believer at that. I believe in a Creator and that I am in His ultimate hands. This is a taboo subject in the Christian community because it is generally thought that if you do really believe, one should not suffer from a mental illness. Unfortunately, I know of someone who killed herself this past summer because of this ridiculous bias. She was too embarrassed to seek treatment because she didn’t want anyone to know she suffered. Believing for me has been the number one reason I have felt a need to keep going and to find a purpose in life. God put me here for a reason, and when He is done with me, He will be the one to take me – NOT me.
Another coping mechanism for me has been discovering and using a tool I call “The Secret.” You may have heard of the movie and the books created and put together by Rhonda Byrne, an Australian lady (She didn’t invent the idea, but put it into words like never before). This has been one of the biggest givers of hope to me. It has helped me learn to dream, and dream BIG! I am so in love with the concepts of visualization, envisioning your future, planning for success and expecting to meet the right people and opportunities. It has done wonders for me. I even use it on parking spaces and buying shoes!!! One may think it conflicts with Christianity, and I can see how it could become a “religion” of sorts, but I use it as though it is a law of nature that God created. It is part of Christianity, I can see it all through the Bible: “Believe and you shall receive!” It is a philosophy, a fact of universal principles like gravity and motion. I urge everyone to seek out “The Secret” and start living a life you only thought happened to lucky people.
And let’s finally address the losing weight part of all this. Food is a great comfort for me! I know you can relate. I seem to have been blessed with special taste buds and a raging hunger to go with it. Damn! Losing weight is hard because I can’t use it a pacifier any longer. I must place my joy in other things when I want to eat, though not really hungry. Discovering when I am truly physically hungry and/or just emotionally hungry has been difficult (that line gets blurred when you do it for years on end). Resisting treats, sweets, and sugary drinks is my Achilles Heel! But, being fat has made my depression worse because it is a large defense against meeting and connecting to other people. It keeps me “safe” from harm and pain that other’s could inflict on me. Letting go of this defense is scary and a daily battle. But I am ready to begin a new life. I am 21 again, and I am ready to dream of my future and plan my marriage and live my life the way I have always hoped it could be.