2019 started off a little rough. A few things that were really important to me didn't work out the way I had hoped. We couldn't keep a dog we had rescued and I didn't get a new position at work that I really wanted. Since those things happened, we rescued a new dog named Ben (who I wrote about here) and we got married!
When things don't go my way, I tend to spiral. That is my anxiety, it tells me that what went wrong was my fault and that I failed. When I can take a step back and see things with clarity, I can see that these are small things and that people deal with much worse, but that is not how anxiety works. It grabs hold and makes you feel like what you are dealing with is all-encompassing and hugely important. With the dog, my thoughts instantly told me I failed the dog and I failed Andy and the cats. With the job I felt like I failed myself, my co-workers and my future. I take losses very very hard. I can't see the other side for a long time. Anxiety gets the best of me more often that I'd like to admit. It is ever-present, making me always second guess my decisions. Anxiety is exhausting.
I definitely don't have all the answers but I have found a few things that help.
My best advice is two-fold. Sleep on it and then make a plan. A lot of things don't look as bad a good nights sleep. When I'm feeling really down, I distract myself with my favorite TV shows and usually end up falling asleep watching The Big Bang Theory. When I wake up, sometimes I have more clarity. I try to make a plan. I am able to deal with something difficult if I have a plan of action to help make it better. Sometimes you can't make things better, but there is always something you can do to make yourself feel a little better. If I can't fix it, then I make a plan to do that will make me happy, something I can look forward to. I will plan to go out to dinner at my favorite restaurant or spend the weekend with my parents. I will buy a book I really want to read or go see a movie that will make me laugh. Finding what makes you happy is so important, especially when you feel like everything is going wrong.
You also need to ask for help when you need it. Therapy and medication can make a tremendous difference, or they might not be the right things for you. Maybe it is yoga or meditation or dance. You just need to find the thing that helps you, that clears your mind of the negativity and allows you to believe in yourself again. You are strong and beautiful and you will succeed, but you have to fight for it every day and with every disappointment. I stand by you and I support you. Please know you are not alone.
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