Don’t want to do anything, want to sleep all the time, the things that interested you just don’t anymore and you’re just out right down? Feel you won’t get through the day without your heart racing, short of breath and sweaty palms?
It’s not ‘normal’ to feel this way, right? …Wishing you were happy, looking at people and thinking “why are they smiling, I want to be.”
This is how I felt everyday!
It’s BLOODY hard and so normal!!!!!!!!
Depression and Anxiety are things that sneak into your life; sometimes you know why, sometimes you don’t.
The 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey revealed that one in six New Zealand adults (16%, or an estimated 582,000 adults) had been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives (including depression, bipolar disorder and/or anxiety disorder).
In my case I found that my anxiety came from my kids. I’m in no way blaming them, in fact it was out of the love I have for them and thinking I did not have my “village”. We live rurally, not too far out of town but enough to worry that if something happened to all of us no one would know.
I remember very clearly every night before bed thinking that if there was a fire and only the kids survived, no one would know. They’d walk out onto the road and get hit by a car or wouldn’t know what to do without Mum and Dad there…
…Pretty heavy right! Worry is normal, yes, but worrying everywhere you drive or go, that something is going to happen and you won’t see your kids again…? It makes you stress to the next level!
Depression and anxiety can be reassuring diagnoses because it means (for some – finally!) you know what the problem is. And once you know what the problem is, you can get to work treating or fixing it. It isn’t you, it’s just the wretched depression or anxiety. However, they aren’t over-night fixes, which I hoped they would be. But I soon realised that by educating myself and then dedicating myself to helping and healing myself, I could grow and evolve and ultimately become a better me. And while nothing was fixed over night, each day I realised this: “Today I am closer than I was yesterday.”
But in saying that, it’s hard! Coming back from rock bottom isn’t really something you are thinking about when you’re down! Luckily for me, I wasn’t too deep. I knew I needed to do something to help myself and it needed to be done NOW!!!!
As our blog progresses, Soph and I will discuss some of the coping mechanisms we personally developed and implemented. The first tactic I executed was throwing myself into yoga and spending time with friends who made me giggle, regardless of whether they knew what was up or not!
Soph and I decided we would try 40 days of hot yoga. For some, it can be daunting showing up to something like that on your own, but when you go with a buddy, you’ve got moral support so it isn’t so scary. Soph had done yoga before but I hadn’t. I had toyed with online YouTube videos but I never really done anything to warrant calling myself a yogi!
Hot yoga did more for me than I could have ever imagined. It made my brain go quiet. And still. Forced it into silent submission. Stopped the constant thinking and worrying and wondering. Stopped the constant whirl of thoughts from circling and circling. It gave my brain a much need break! A break I never thought I’d get, being a mum of two. The solid 90 minute* classes made me rethink life. (Stay tuned – because we’ve got a banger of a Yoga post coming!) They created enough space in my brain to be able to refocus.
There is always an up, it doesn’t matter how deep or how far down you are. You will always have someone, someone who is there for you or someone who just tells you that you need to see a doctor or a therapist or someone who can help you develop tactics to recognise when something bad is coming and then how to use those tactics to either prevent or get yourself out. But you know WHAT?? This is life, life throws you curve balls. It tests you! It makes you a better you! I always know that if I am starting to feel blah, I just need to pop off to yoga and give my brain what it deserves, a rest!
Do you have a haven? A place to think, reflect and meditate? A place where you can give your brain the rest that it needs and so dearly deserves? How do you rest your brain?
*The solid 90 minute classes quickly turned into 60 minute classes – they were too long for me! But Soph stuck with the 90 minutes classes – power to her!