I have always been really outspoken about the benefits of talk therapy as my main intervention for treatment of anxiety and depression. I have been in and out of therapy for the last five years, and have had many successes and failures. Medical intervention has never been something I was interested in, and will continue to resist medications as long as possible. Hence why talk therapy has always been my go-to for symptom treatment. Without therapy treatment I am not sure where my symptoms would be, but I am sure it would have been in a much worse place.
I just feel that my therapist and I have gotten to a place where my symptoms are manageable without weekly or biweekly sessions. I did some reflection on what issues I still want to work on, and the problems that are left I feel I am fully capable managing on my own. There isn’t anything that happened between my therapist and I, but I think our treatment plan has run its course. This is not to say I will never be back in therapy, because I think that is almost guaranteed to happen, but for right now I feel good about my progress.
I have accepted that I am a stress crier. If I am really upset or angry about something or someone, there is a 100% chance I will cry about it. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me, it’s just my way of coping with certain life stressors. I have also accepted that my anxiety will never go away. I will never have a moment in my life where my anxiety is completely gone, but I have to continue to learn to function with it.
My self-care has improved 100% with the introduction of my fitness and nutrition work. This is the first program I have been able to create great habits from. I’m on day 50 in a row and going strong! I workout every. single. day for me. My nutrition hasn’t always been stellar, but I never blamed myself or felt guilt about eating foods off plan. How can you properly maintain a lifestyle change like this without allowing yourself some flexibility? You can’t. The minute I start have ANY feelings of doubt I remind myself that it’s ok. The next meal is a new place to start over. The next day is an opportunity to work even harder.
My first therapist told me to think about my anxiety as a separate person. When I am feeling anxious I have dialog with them, to ask “is this anxiety I’m feeling really necessary?” It’s like that quote from the hangover, “but did you die?” In truth, no I didn’t die. My life has never been in danger, and if it ever is I will be thanking my body for having the ability to have an anxious response.
You see the world will tell you your anxiety is unnatural. If you cry too much that means you’re way too sensitive. If you get upset with people because of miscommunication, you’re overreacting. When you have a panic attack and lose the ability to think and make logical decisions, you’re crazy. No matter what you struggle with there will be someone out there telling you that something is “wrong” with you. Everyone experiences some level of anxiety in their lifetime, but the level at which people truly suffer from anxiety will never be understood by those that cannot feel it.
If you have someone in your life you know is struggling with anxiety, depression or seasonal effective disorder, reach out to them and ask if they’re ok. Sometimes it’s a simple conversation with someone you love to make all the difference in the world. When I have panic attacks, many times people message me during them and have no idea the impact they made in my life at that very moment. I can go from crying uncontrollably, unable to breathe to cracking a smile or even laughing. We all deserve a little bit of light in our worlds, and you can be that for someone.
Life is about overcoming obstacles and growing, but you cannot grow without change. I made the decision to accept the changes that I have made, and have a plan in place for changes that I need to continue to work on. I have some great people that are a part of my life, both new and old, that made this decision much easier for me to make. I am not afraid to admit I will never be “fixed” but I will continue to surround myself with love from people willing to accept my flaws.