Written by Anonymous
On a night out with my cousins and friends, I admitted my off and on suicidal ideation. The stress that I was under that night, seemed intolerable to me. Chronic anxiety took the place where comfortability was supposed to lie. I didn’t necessarily believe I wanted to die but living felt like too much to handle and life events seemed to be overwhelming me.
The pressure to find a job and support myself was taking its toll. I was feeling like a burden to my family – despite constant reassurance that I’m not. Old demons resurfaced – the anxiety over being judged by my friends makes me feel like I’m a burden to those around me.
In my midst of despair, I was lacking gratitude, grounding and stability. I was wrapped up in confusion and questioning the way the world works and why things are the way they are. I’m now in group therapy. I was admitted into a room full of people who suffered chronic anxiety and depression similar to my own.
Finally, I was diagnosed and with continued treatment – I feel so much better. Therapy can be tough. It can make you feel worse. It can drain you. It can bring up issues or poke at things you don’t want to talk about. The fact I was admitted to a therapeutic mental health center just fed my insecurity and paranoia ten-fold. Everyone always sees me as the seemingly put together person not someone who was breaking inside. Having anxiety and depression is like being a diabetic, something I need to manage the rest of my life.
Through therapy, I’ve realized I became obsessive and nitpicky about my appearance, which has its positives but also its negatives. I am obsessive about keeping my hair clean, keeping my body lean and fit, eating vegetables, applying my makeup to accentuate my best features, endless photo shop editing (always trying to find the “perfect” photo of myself and social media doesn’t really help either I’ve literally become a master at editing photos), brushing my teeth, fake tanning (I practically BATH in fake lotion tanners), making sure I smell nice, constantly rummaging through my old clothes and making sure they are clean and so on and so forth.
I am on the upward trajectory, finally. I have a sense of hope from receiving proper care and a solid program.
My experience with group therapy has been bittersweet. There have been numerous coping tactics I have learned on how to manage my anxiety and depression. I want to share these with you.
• Ride the Wave. Ride out your emotions as they come along.
• Treat yourself like a sick friend. Treat yourself how you would treat someone else who wasn’t feeling well
• During an episode of a panic attack, find positive coping mechanisms that what works best for you.
• When in heightened anxiety mode, ask for help. In a state of distress the worst thing you can do is withdraw even though that can be the natural thing to do. In a state of distress don’t seek out substance abuse, a negative coping mechanism.
• When experiencing anxiety and depression, address it straight on – “No this is just my depression again talking. This isn’t really me”
• Let go of bad relationships. Appreciate the ones that are always there for you (FAMILY!)
• Volunteer at a non-profit, near and dear to your heart
• Pet therapy. Dogs need and depend on you to be there for them
• Mastery of hobby craft or skill. Try something new!
• Practicing gratitude and thankfulness. Writing down daily things you are grateful for!
I feel unique, in the sense my path doesn’t feel as traditional. I try to accept whatever it is Gd has planned for me. I’m on this path for a reason, I have a purpose. Something good will come out of all this. Perhaps someday I will help someone who has gone through what I’m currently going through – I will know how to help them through my own life experiences.