For those that have found a “cure” for your anxiety and depression, I’m happy for you.
I’m happy that the yoga worked for you.
I’m happy that the essential oils did something.
I’m happy that you just practiced more self care.
I’m happy for you that meditation does the trick.
I’m happy for you that getting off the standard American diet worked for you and “IS THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE!”
I know you want me to trust you. You say – “Just try it.”
“Just do a little more deep breathing, and open your mind a little to your feelings and FEEL them.”
I know that you think it’s just the stage of life I’m in.
I’m glad that counting your blessings really helped you get through your little rough patch.
TRULY. I’m happy that you have moved on.
But, let me tell you a little secret.
There are those of us that struggle with anxiety and depression no matter what we try.
Trust me. If you live with anxiety and depression – you try it all.
You have gone on the long walks. You sprinkle those oils, and breathe deep breaths, and try feeling your feelings.
You do yoga, and pilates, and jiu jiutsu even.
You practice more self care than the average person, and you drink green smoothies.
You hike mountains and go camping and “get out in nature more!!!”
Really – you’d do almost anything to make it go away if you suffer with anxiety and depression.
You want so badly to believe that it’s just a simple attitude adjustment you need. Or that practicing more gratitude will fix it.
I don’t want to stay in this spot. None of us do.
And if you’re anything like me – YOU HAVE PROBABLY TRIED IT ALL IF YOU HAVE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION.
Maybe you had a little stint in college and that meditation app really did do the trick to focus your thoughts and get you out of your funk.
But, for those of us that live with it daily – this isn’t just a funk or a phase. This is a battle we fight every day with our own minds.
It’s feeling hopeful with each new suggestion and feeling hopeless when that dark friend is still there.
The comments are well intentioned I’m sure. But, it fuels our already dark thoughts to think that we are somehow failing if we are told how yoga nipped your anxiety.
Because believe me when I tell you – we are desperate. We want it to go away. We have tried all the things.
Brene brown says, “Empathy is feeling WITH people. Rarely does an empathic response ever begin with – “At least…” and she also says it doesn’t try to fix things.
Empathy is connection.
So, next time someone shares that they are struggling, sit with them in that dark place. Tell them you’re glad they shared. Let them know you see them and hear them and don’t know what to say – but you are there for them.
That’s what the struggling mind needs. Validation. Empathy. To be seen.
We don’t need to know what worked for you or what we need to fix.
We certainly don’t need to be told we’re doing it wrong or that our pill isn’t the answer.
Mental illness is an illness like any other. Let me repeat that for the people in the back –
MENTAL ILLNESS IS AN ILLNESS LIKE ANY OTHER.
It’s not called Mental-temporary-issue-that-just-needs- a-long-bath-and-some-self-care. (MTITJNALBASSC for short I guess)
It’s a sickness. Some of us want so bad not to live with it. But, we do. And we are warriors for fighting something that many people don’t believe is there.
But even with the yoga and long walks and oils – it’s still there. And we fight it. And some of us do so with a little pill.
I’m glad the meditation works for you. I really am. But sit with me with what is working for me (or what isn’t) will ya? Because when we can sit with those of us that we aren’t trying to fix, but we are trying to believe?
That’s how we truly end the stigma of mental health issues.