Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Depression, Anxiety, and Power

Depression can be hard to talk about and most definitely embarrassing. I guess for me, I don't want people to have this misconception about me if I tell them I am depressed. I imagine people thinking I'm a wind up doll in one of those anti-depressant commercials. HA!

I'm big on inspirational quotes and have had my fair share of "ah ha" moments. The ones I struggle with most, are the quotes that read similar to this one... 

Is it that simple to choose to be happy even if you suffer from depression? I definitely think there are situations that I can choose to be happy about, or grateful for. On a day-to-day basis though, I struggle with the element of happiness.  No matter how many pep talks I give myself, I just can't get there. I think that goes along with finding a purpose in life which I am still searching for. Certainly, there's more to life than work and household chores. As I've gotten older and more aware of my feelings, I can appreciate those days when mentally I feel good.  Those days may be minimal, but I have them and am grateful.  

Unlike with depression, I can normally pinpoint why I am feeling anxious.  Is it preventable? I'm beginning to think that some of the time it is.  I have come to agree with this quote... 
"If you are depressed you are living in the past.  If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." 
Having read this quote over and over, it took me a long time to realize that it is, in fact true. If I am anxious, it is because I am thinking about the future. It may be because I am dreading work, an obligation I have, or a conversation.

Depression makes me feel lethargic.  Anxiety gives me high energy. Yesterday, I had horrible anxiety. I went to the gym and hit a personal record on the stair stepper and then worked out with my trainer. I never could have done that without the added energy from the anxiety. Anxiety makes me want to push harder and sweat more so I don't have to feel anything.  As soon as I stop moving, I am fully aware of my anxiety again. While I hate feeling anxious, it can be a blessing at the gym.

I have a hard enough time keeping my mood swings in check that I have got to stop giving other people the power to dictate my mood. That power can sometimes change my mood in a mere instant. What bothers me the most is that I often give this power to people I don't care about. I struggle with this mostly at work. I do think a lot of it is my personality. Perhaps letting shit go comes with age? Maybe I've not yet found the right tools that work for me to deal? Of course, there are some days when what may have bothered me today does not bother me tomorrow. I realize I can't control other people's actions and my surroundings at all times (i.e. at work with my co-workers).What I do know is that I need to start controlling the situations that I can. I need to stop putting myself around people that I know will take that power from me.

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