Stephen Speaks: Entry #1 (Anxiety/Depression)

Comment: Hi … first of all, I love you so much and I’m so happy and proud that you created this amazing website/blog. I need some advice. I’ve been suffering with really bad depression and anxiety. I’ve been in and out of therapists and different mental health facilities, trying to find what works for me. I recently have been feeling really insecure and alone and have been comparing myself to everyone I see. The feelings I’m having are causing me to become super irritable and miserable and angry at my friends and family and that’s not how I want to be. I want to have a care free and happy attitude but my anxiety makes it so hard for me to stay positive. I am on meds for it but they don’t seem to be making any difference. Every time I have a panic attack, I ask my mom to take me to a local mental facility that I went to a few times before. I don’t want to rely on medicine and doctors to make me feel better, I want to have my own coping methods to help myself out. Do you have any advice on anything I can work on or possibly start my own blog to speak out about my problems and maybe get some advice from others? I don’t know how to deal with always being anxious and I want to get back to my bubbly self and not deal with the horrible side effects that come with depression and anxiety.

Thank you.

ANSWER:       Thank you for reaching out and being so honest and vulnerable about your situation and daily feelings.  I, just like you, went through some tough times with self-acceptance, anxiety, and depression; I still do.  Briefly, I want to comfort you by stating, you are not alone.  Once upon a time, a few years ago, I went through a tough time in my life.  Instead of dealing with it all, I decided to bottle it in, while creating a façade that I knew deep down was not really me.  I broke down in tears at my workplace, became hostile towards my peers, and threw away friends like they were nothing but an old toy left on a dusty shelf.  I pushed away my family, stopped chasing my dreams, and quickly became lost.  I no longer was myself.  After much damage had taken over my life, a friend finally encouraged me to see a doctor.  I, then, had taken medication for my anxiety and depression.  At first, the medication I was taking was not right for me and did not change my mood swings or thought processing.  It took some time to find the correct dosage and proper medication to ease me through some hard times.  I took them for about a year, until I finally said, “I don’t need these to be happy!”  I did not want to be controlled by something else.  I wanted to be myself…flaws and all.  As I eased myself off of the pills, I went over the reasons why I went on them in the first place.  From there, I worked on myself as much as I could.

It was not easy to discover myself again.  Still, I am fighting for a good life, and for better perspectives, because life is a struggle; It really is.  There is no perfection in this world and those who believe it will be chasing that false idea in their head for the rest of their living days.  I accepted that no one is perfect and that I, too, am not perfect.  We all must sit back and observe ourselves as if we just met ourselves.  What would you see if you did that?  Would you recognize yourself if you didn’t look directly at the appearance of your face and body?  What would you see if you went deeper…into your heart and brain!?

You and I, as well as many other individuals around the world, need to appreciate the differences among us.  You cannot compare yourself to someone else!  Why?  That is simple; You are not them!  You are a separate being put on this earth to be you.  If we continue to strive for conformity, rather than individuality, we lose our purpose.  Everyone has a separate purpose in this world.  One person may look like the next, but maybe one has a bigger heart, and the other has a bigger brain.  Not literally, but let’s say you meet twins while you are walking in a grocery store.  To you, they may seem alike, but it’s possible that in further discoveries, you’ll come to realize that twin 1 volunteers at her local homeless shelter, while twin 2 is creating a cure for cancer.  What I want you to understand is that there is no you, so why not strive to be the best version of YOU, rather than that person you see on the TV or a magazine.

We are so blindsided by the society we all live in, with its rather cruel judgements on personality, creativity, success, and so much more.  So many around us are conforming to those judgements.  You can’t give in though.  When life tears you down because, maybe you’re not as pretty as the girl at school, or your body has an odd shape to it compared to your coworkers or peers, take away the comparison option, and make a YOU option.  For years, I was bullied about my looks, life choices, and personality, and at first it created bad thoughts and self-harming mistakes, but through time, I developed a new idea on self-acceptance.  When someone comes up to me full of judgmental remarks, I thank them.  “You’re getting fat,” they say.  “Thank You,” I respond.  “Your teeth are crooked.”  “Thank you!”  “You’re not good enough to be around me.”  “THANK YOU!”

We all live with ourselves 24 hours a day, so we know ourselves better than anyone you’ll meet.  We know who we are more than they do!  It is common for people to be cruel to individuals who find happiness and serenity in themselves.  Why?  Well, because they themselves are longing for the same exact thing.  Don’t pay any mind to the haters.  Pay mind to the lovers, the supporters, and the kind people who have your back no matter what!  Surround yourself with positivity and stay clear from negativity.

Hobbies are also a great way to learn who we are.  They can help with anxiety, depression, and so much more.  For me, I find therapy in music.  When I seem to get angry or upset, I sing.  Whether I am the best, or the worst, I do it because I love to.  I’ll sing at work, at home, in the car, shower, outside in the streets, and anywhere I can, because it is what makes me happy.  Things like painting, writing, dancing, building, and more, are what make us all so unique.  We just have to figure out what we love.  That is all!  So rather than wasting time on being someone else, spend some time finding the things you love to do.  The things that cause you to smile are the things that you should pursue.  There is no room for negativity, so don’t let it in, but more importantly, don’t spread it.  With your anxiousness you say you have as well, hobbies work for that too.  I am always anxious about things.  I can never wait to do something once my mind is set on it.  I love change, and wanting that so much isn’t always healthy. For myself, instead of changing everything in my life, I rearrange my furniture and other rooms more than normal.  I enjoy this, and it creates a continuous different feel in my life.  With that little change, I become content.  I become anxious when I want a new job, or meet someone new, but I have become accustomed to believe that, if it’s meant to be, it will be; All things happen for a reason.  Let life play out.  We need to stop controlling everything in our lives, and start living, and learning.  Knowledge is gained from that.  LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE. (Literally)

Also, creating a blog is always a good idea, as long as it is what YOU want to do.  If you like to write, inspire, motivate, and/or create, go for it.  Don’t do it if it isn’t something you truly want to, and more importantly, be patient.  Here, on my blog, I still am struggling to get views, likes, shares, comments, and I continue to doubt myself on whether or not I should keep writing, singing, and creating.  But, I do it.  I do it because I like it.  That is all that matters.  We have to make ourselves happy.  So, no matter what you decide to do in this life, do not give up.  When you fall, pick yourself up, and try again!  Fight your daily battles and one day you will win.  So, in response to your email, I want to say this; Be you.  Be the you that you want to be.  Find what makes you happy, what you like to do.  Surround yourself with good people, and avoid the ones who tear you down.  If you want to continue medication, talk to your doctor about your dosage, or maybe switch it to something new.  Sit back, relax, breath, stay hydrated, eat regularly, love yourself, and take control of your life.  There is always rain before a rainbow.  Get through this struggle, learn from it, accept it for what it is, and soon enough you will be a stronger individual than you once were.  I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself.  You are beautiful exactly the way you are.  Don’t change to be someone else, do it to be a better version of YOU!

Thank you for reaching out and I hope this may have helped in some kind of way.  Any more questions, please feel free to email me at simplystephen15@gmail.com.  I am all ears and will do my best to make you feel comfortable and appreciated.

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