Friday, September 23, 2016

Sunshine and Rainbows

At one point in time this blog was the light of my life.  When walking Oliver, the dog, around the neighborhood I would come up with anecdotes, lessons, stories, etc. about the honest truths about weight loss.  I started writing and posts developed and one day I went live and it was so encouraging.  The huge issue with starting a happiness blog is that I set this expectation that I had to be happy all the time.  The truth is, it’s hard to write about happiness when you feel anything but.  I have struggled so much this past year and it’s hard to write about your trials and tribulations when your problems seem so small.  This is why I started therapy.  Just me and my therapist in a room on a couch where I can vent to her all my thoughts and issues.  So where have I been? I’ve been hiding.  I have this huge desire to be the girl I once was but she seems like a distant memory now.  She was untouchable, goal motivated, and incredibly disciplined.  I don’t know how to be her anymore. 

I felt really good for a few weeks—incredible even.  This came after a low point.  I didn't want to see people, I would cry a lot, and I didn't want to do anything but sleep.  I realized I had a huge problem.  I went to the doctor and tried to explain what I was feeling.  The only words I could come up with were, “off,” “sad,” “disconnected.”  She told me that she was listening to this podcast one morning and the speaker was saying that life has created this expectation that you’re supposed to be really happy and okay or something is wrong.  If you’re sad or feeling blue that there’s something wrong with you.  The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with you.  This happens to everyone and sometimes you just need to embrace the sad.  While she was telling this story, tears started streaming down my face.  Through my sobs I told her, “I just want to feel better.”

I think it's really hard for people to understand what someone who suffers from anxiety and depression is going through.  You think, "No one WANTS to get out of bed in the morning so I'm no different."  It's not that there's just a lack of want, it's that I physically can't.  In fact, if  I didn't have an animal relying on me, I wouldn't some days.  When a 23 lb. dachshund is sitting on your chest and whining in your face to go out and pee, you get up.  He's in charge.  When I have an anxiety attack, I can't physically sit.  I can't sit at my desk at work, I can't try to watch TV to distract me.  I have to pace, or drive, or just get the fuck out of wherever I am.  It sucks and it sucks even more that Cheetos puffs have a way of calming me down.

Life is full of ebbs and flows and not every week/month/year is going to be sunshine and rainbows.  For some, the thunderstorms just last a little longer.  October 2nd begins Mental Illness Awareness Week.  There are so many stigmas attached to mental illness that a lot of sufferers remain silent.  I have numerous friends who battle their own issues and I am, obviously, very upfront about mine.  For anyone struggling: you are not alone, you don't have to be ashamed of your disease, and I encourage you to seek help.  Let's all be #stigmafree and support one another through the tough times.  Recognition and acceptance are steps one and two.  Choose happy, y'all.

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