How powerful sharing can be. I started out writing this blog as a way to express how I was feeling as a form of therapy for myself. I never imagined that it would prompt old friends to reach out and make new connections. That has been the magical thing about it. It’s also made me realize just how “not alone” I am in my quest to find sanity on the most insane days.
It’s the first week of February, traditionally a brutal time for me and my anxiety. I begin to feel caged, unsocial, and depressed. I shouldn’t say that I begin, I should say that it escalates. The SAD is in full force as another snowfall hit the city today. I’m just not a snow person. I’m not a cold weather person. I don’t enjoy it. And it makes me feel like crawling into bed for the next 3 months and rising only when the flowers begin to bloom. I’m continually working on managing it. I’m exercising, meditating, using my sun lamp, and trying to maintain some sort of social life, but I can’t seem to kick the feeling of doom and I can’t seem to quiet the constant negative voice inside my head.
I had two insightful conversations with friends today, one old and one fairly new. Both were prompted by a personal struggle, either mine or theirs. And what struck me is that I really am not alone. No matter how hopeless I feel, I am not the only one struggling right now. As my friend said to me tonight “you always hear the saying, keeping up with the Jones’s, well there are no Jones’s”. Essentially, we’re all fucked up in some way or another.
These two conversations were the bright light in my day. I don’t know that either of them are aware that it made me feel so good to talk to them, to connect with people who understand the challenges that I face. Each of us has our own nuances that make our situations differ slightly, but the outcome is the same, we’re just humans facing real problems that we need to figure out how to manage in order to live our lives as best we can.
I think I keep expecting that one day everything will be perfect, the sun will shine, everyone will be healthy, and everything in my world will feel perfect. I rarely get to experience that. I have this idea in my head that there should be, at the very least, a short stretch of time where there is peace in my life. It never seems to come. There is always something. Am I unlucky, or is this just the way life is? Is it simply my state of mind, how I am seeing the world through depressed and anxious eyes? Maybe. That’s something I need to work on, the self-talk weighs more on the negative side vs. the positive.
I’m currently reading a book of daily meditations, and today’s seems to be perfectly appropriate:
“Give yourself a break. Ask yourself what’s right, what’s good, what’s true, what’s beautiful. Sometimes the lesson isn’t in discovering what’s wrong. Sometimes the lesson is discovering that the world is all right – and so are you.” (Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart)
So this post doesn’t really contain anything fantastic, or fearless. I’m not sharing any insights into managing anxiety. I’m just writing because I can. That is about the best I can do right now.
And to my good friends who reached out to me today, thank you, you helped. I hope I did too. Remember – the world is all right – and so are you.