Just over a year ago, I decided to be brave, suck up any bit of courage I had, and share my store of my struggles with all you lovely Internet folk. At the time, that was arguably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – but looking back, I’m glad that I did it. It’s been just over a year since I posted that piece about my struggles with depression, anxiety and counseling… and I thought it was time to check in, and see how this chapter of my life is going.
Taking excerpts from last year’s post to segue my way through this one… let me begin. (Side note: if you want to read last year’s post, it’s here. I’d recommend it, since it’ll give you a precursor on what I’m talking about here.)
As I said last year – I know that other people have it worse than I do; I know I have a lot to be thankful for, and my struggles have definitely taught me a lot. I know I have been extremely blessed in many ways, and overall, my life has been pretty darn good lately. For the most part, I’ve been – if I dare to say it – happy. I have a job that I enjoy, a decent home life, a solid, supportive relationship. But my life is not perfect. I don’t get anxiety much anymore, because I’ve almost completely cut the people who were making me anxious out of my life. I had a panic attack several months ago due to a specific trigger. I feel like I can smile without it being fake. There are days when I finally feel confident about myself, and days when I can genuinely say that I am truly happy.
As much as I’d like to say I’ve evaded the grasp of that cloud of depression completely – I don’t know if that’s the truth.
I think there are still thin strings, tendrils, barely there, that cling to me, that pull me away – even slightly – from my happy spot from time to time. There are still times when I get extremely self-conscious; times when I get paranoid and think everything in my life is going wrong, and that I’m somehow responsible.
There are still times when things really DO go wrong and it severely affects me and puts my mind into a bad place.
There are still days when I reflect back on the things that people have said to me in the past – the negative things that stick out, of course. Days when those things really hit home for me.
There are days when I consider finding a counselor again. I haven’t seen one since November 2013. But I think I know myself well enough, and know my mental health well enough, to know when I reach a point where I need to seek help, and I don’t think I’ve reached that point. But keep this in mind: there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you are strong enough to know yourself and to want your life to move in a positive direction.
I think that I’ve grown in a lot of ways in the past year. I’m trying to really focus on myself and improving myself. I’m trying to be confident and making a diligent effort. I’m starting to take better care of myself, not only mentally but also physically. I have a small group of supportive people in my life. I’m working on my communication skills and being honest with myself and others; I’m trying not to worry so much, and above all else — I am TRYING, and that’s important.
Recovery isn’t a one-shot deal. It’s a daily re-commitment to yourself, your mental health and your well-being. As I said last year, I am still a work in progress — we all are.
“I know that every day may not be great, but there will be great things in most days if I look for them.”