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Monday, February 25, 2019 today begins the end of the shortest month of the year with the promise of spring around the corner. In less than two weeks we will be back on Daylight Savings time, and the daylight will extend into the early hours of the evening. Although SAD is one of my struggles this winter, I was able to control the blue and grey mood swings that come over me. I credit that to my family and friends as well as to myself. Six years ago when the seasonal affects (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder) took me down a spiraling abyss, I confronted this disorder. I acknowledged my depression and sought help. It was due to an accumulation of events that 2013 was both my worst mental health year and my best!
When we face our demons, and we all have them, it becomes an opportunity to accept the challenges and obstacles that lay before and to use the intelligence (the thought processes) to cut through the heavy, dense fog that is pulling us down, down, down!
In the winter of 2013, I had no idea that I was empowering myself to become the person I always thought I was. Instead, when I reflected on who I wanted to be and who I was, I knew it was time for a change, and that it is never too late. Although change can be terrifying and often we (I) have used excuses such as I can’t change because I’m too old, or I don’t have the resources the answer was I couldn’t I was not ready. Taking the fork in the road in February 2013 has allowed me to be me.
Here are lyrics of I Got to Be Me, sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me; I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am
Please do not ask someone why they are anxious or depressed, often they cannot provide themselves with an explanation so why assume they will be able to communicate with you? Anxiety is normal it is part of the flight or fight process. Without a touch of anxiety, we could place ourselves in harm’s way walking up to roaring Lion or crossing the railroad track as a train comes towards us at full speed. However, anxiety that produces dread for seconds, minutes or longer can interfere with our normal routines. I know I went through this five years ago. Up until that time I pushed and prodded through often with tears and mood swings blaming it on trivial things like a broken nail, I gained a few pounds, or I was not included in an invitation. Oh whoa was me! However, those situations were just the triggers, they weren’t the reason, and sometimes we never figure out the whys!
Anxiety can affect us all in different ways including irritable bowel, obsessive-compulsive needs, and migraines, just to name a few obvious ones. In my case IB and Migraines are my malady and recently (over the past few weeks) I have had an increase in Migraine attacks along with this on again, off again of foreboding. My fear is my anxiety will deepen and take me into depression and I won’t and can’t have that as part of my journey.
The series that I am planning for 2019 will not only help me face the demons that invaded my thought pattern, but it will bring me closer to others while I share my story I will listen to theirs. It is only in this common thread of true and open communication that we can face this disease head-on. Yes, anxiety and depression by medical terminology are diseases, and although they do not need to be terminal without support, understanding, and acceptance, for some, it is life-threatening.
This week has been difficult despite the love, friendship and support of family and friends. However, please know there is still a brewing demon called anxiety living within in me, and I must become more intentional in my thoughts and living to extinguish what is not needed for survival.