Saturday, December 21, 2013

'Tis the Season to use my mental health toolbox

Yup. Suddenly my brain is on it's "something is not just right" kick. I should turn off the music I'm trying to learn for church tomorrow and brush my hair before I write this, so I can concentrate better. Besides, the cheery music is wrecking my discouraged mood.

I backed out of a hike with my family when the snow stacked up yesterday (the hike was for today). My previous delight at actually being ready to celebrate Christmas my mom's way (and actually really going for it) is being dulled by the unexpected surge in anxiety. And the anxiety doesn't even have the graciousness to focus on one thing. If it was all focused on a fear of light switches (and causing a fire) for example, I'd know to do an exposure on that. But no, it has to randomly attach itself to various things. The only unifying measure seems to be the "just right" feeling that is lacking and the elevated feelings of anxiety. So that makes exposures easy, right? I just do things just not quite right. Persistently. And the anxiety will go away, right? Soon enough for me to have a just right Christmas vacation, right? Oh, shut up, OCD/anxiety, whichever one you are.

Anxiety and depression are friends in my case. Well, it isn't quite a fair relationship, because if the depression is super duper strong, it can overpower the anxiety. And depression doesn't necessarily cause anxiety. But anxiety almost always brings a rise in depressed feelings.

So there I am, with depression and anxiety hitching a ride for another holiday season, or at least the pre-holiday work up.

So I'll just have to get my toolbox out, anxiety monster and depression monster. See, I'm really quite skilled in fighting you. I mean, I hate fighting you, because it is hard and requires effort and the experience generally isn't fun, but I'm not stupid. I learn tools and can dig them out.

Let's see. I have a list of things to do today. That's a good tool. A couple things could even be fun (which is a good way to say, "So there, anxiety/depression, take that!"). What else? I can choose to have fun today. I can enjoy the music that I'm slowly learning while writing this, that I'm going to help play tomorrow. I can enjoy my time on the computer (take that!). I am getting my laundry done (take that!). I'm going to watch a fun tv show and/or read a book later today (take that!). I might clean my apartment a little (take that!). And breathe deeply (take that!).

And basicaly keep living, intentionally and with enjoyment. This could be fun after all.

1 comment:

  1. Yay, Abigail! Good for you for taking out that toolbox and fighting back. This is not an easy time of year for me, either, and I've felt some of that anxiety and depression hanging around the edges. Hard to pinpoint the cause, but I'll just have to get out my own toolbox.

    Thinking of you and wishing you a peaceful Christmas, Abigail!!