I originally wanted this post to be a '3 steps to a better tomorrow' kind of post, but as I write this, I see that I just can't divide my thoughts around this into 3 points and stand by them. Focusing on the positive when you're having a bad day is a tough thing to do, and I cannot give you 3 ways to overcome that. I can only talk to you about my thoughts and my experiences, and hopefully give you some strength to overcome whatever it is you're going through.
How many times have you felt like you're alone or frustrated, or depressed or sad? How many of those times did you feel that what you're going through isn't something that would be accepted by society and the people around you? As if what you're going through is a huge taboo, and you aren't allowed to feel anything but content?
Our society forces us to hide our emotions, to hide our sadness and frustrations, and accept the fake reality we've created as if it cannot be changed. But that's just plain wrong. People, including you, should never apologize for the way they feel. No matter how dark it is.
I said this before, and I'll keep on saying it. Own your emotions.
Do not ignore or avoid your feelings.
You would probably be thinking, since people are only drawn to happy people, that you would put a brave false smile just so you wouldn't be left alone if you spoke about your depression or your anxiety. You'll hide it away under some box, and never speak about it because it is such a huge taboo in our society. But that seriously would be the worst thing for you to do.
Hiding depression, or self-harm, or anxiety attacks only makes it harder to overcome. In order to feel better, and happier, you need to accept that there is nothing wrong with feeling depressed, or having anxiety attacks. Find the strength deep within you to accept yourself as you are. There really is nothing more freeing or empowering than accepting your emotions, being completely un-apologetically your 100% authentic self, with no fear of societal judgments. Through your acceptance, you'll find strength to overcome these, and overcome the fear of relapsing.
Now that you've accepted this 'thing' that is weighing on top of your shoulder, you need to build a support group that will help you get through it. And I'm not talking about counseling. If you think counseling works for you, then go ahead and ignore the stigma that only crazy people go to counseling.
What I'm talking about is a family/friend support group. People who will come rushing to your side within seconds of you needing them. Open up to them about your feelings, about your fears of hurting yourself. Talk about everything that is weighing on your shoulders, and what you think is causing you to feel depressed or have these anxiety attacks.
You will only cause more harm to yourself if you do not speak up about the emotions you're feeling. The longer you stay quiet, the more toxic it becomes, and the worse you're going to feel.
Aynsley Guerin always said, "there are so many out there who are either experiencing the same things you are, or really want to help you. All you have to do is put yourself out there".
Aynsley Guerin. My first corporate manager.. EVER. A man who's taught me so much, who's argued with and understood me, and who has surprised me too many times for my liking.
I agree completely with what he says. You have to first accept what you're feeling, acknowledge it and respect yourself for being strong enough to do so, and then tell people you want their help and support.
Whether you're facing depression, or anxiety, all you have to do is trust and believe that the world is out there, waiting to help you. All you have to do is speak up.
I repeat, there is absolutely nothing wrong with facing depression, having anxiety attacks, going to counseling (even though I think it 's better to have a closer support group than a counselor, but whatever works for you).
We aren't hateful in nature. We aren't cruel beings. We are loving, nurturing and sympathetic. If you're ever feeling alone, confide in one person you trust the most. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Then just take each day as it comes, focusing on the good, trying to get through the bad. Some days will be easy, some days will be hard. Give yourself credit for the strength you've taken in trying to feel better. Give yourself credit for the effort you're making on focusing on the positive, and just keep your support group close.
If you're going through a really hard day, and feel you might hurt yourself, call upon your support group, your husband, wife, brother, sister, whoever it might be, let them know your day isn't the greatest and you're not feeling so strong. They'll be by your side helping you get through the day.
Just don't give up.
Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on the people who love you.
Don't let the bitterness of the world get to you.
Don't let go of the life you're dreaming of, or of the great things you can create.
Just don't give up.