During one of my sessions trawling the tinternets to try and pick up my mood, I stumbled across this article.
It really struck a chord with me.
When you see anything about depression it will usually be accompanied by an image such as:
Even a Google image search for depression confirmed this:
But in reality you can’t even begin to second guess what someone is going through just by looking at them:
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle
At work I am known to be smiley and happy. I greet everyone I bump into in the corridors and try and talk to others when I’m making myself a drink.
What I don’t show is that in the morning I was wondering if I could even make it to work. I burst into tears telling my husband how much I hate the negative monologue that is forever playing in my mind. It is telling me ‘what is even the point in putting make-up on as it will be like polishing a turd’ or perhaps ‘why bother turning up to work as I am completely replaceable and probably wont even notice my absence’. But I manage to go through the motions of crawling out of bed, getting showered and dressed and making myself eat breakfast before struggling in.
They also don’t know that I had a terrifying panic attack on the weekend that left my husband holding me and repeating over and over that I can breathe and it will be okay. It drains me and leaves me really low for quite a while afterwards. I find it can take as much as a week to even begin to find glimmers of happiness again after a panic attack. It saps my energy and all the hope from me and leaves me running on empty. You feel that things will never get better again. I felt like I had taken a huge step backwards to perhaps where I was 6 months ago. I’ve been left wondering if I should get back in touch with my clinical psychologist to try and make sense of the world again and try and continue the progress I had previously experienced. But it is just a blip. A small relapse. I am stronger than I used to be and I am getting there.
When I’m at work I feel a lot better. I don’t have time to think and dwell on my problems. If things start to get the better of me, I will take myself out of the situation and make myself a cup of tea.
At lunch I will lose myself in a book. It takes me away from my problems and completely submerses me in this other world.
Occasionally I will go for a quick walk at lunch to clear my head and freshen myself up with some big lungfuls of sea air.
When I get home I will try and do something active. I will go for a run or do some circuit training. Something to just clear my mind and give me the happy glow of having achieved what I set out to do.
But it is difficult. When it is quiet my mind starts to notch up a gear or two and is quite vocal again. I try and keep myself busy with hobbies.
Busy hands are happy hands
The devil finds work for idle hands
When I’m feeling stressed or anxious I need to keep reminding myself that this feeling will pass. I need to do something that keeps my hands busy and occupies my mind. I will pick up a colouring book and scrawl away until I’m feeling better. I might ‘play’ something on a piano app on my tablet to really tune into my concentration (my coordination is far from ideal!). I have been wanting to have a go at sewing or cross stitch lately but it is finding the time and motivation to jump in and try it out! I also need to make more time for baking. I really love creating yummy treats as it gives an excuse to invite people over for a cup of tea and a chat.
There are many other helpful and simple suggestions in this link about what you can try when you start to feel anxious. Some I hadn’t thought of and that seem so obvious now!