I was an anxiety sufferer from the age of nine until I turned 42. Two of my four kids, both daughters, also suffer from anxiety, mood swings and depression. Last night, one of my music students quit the group because she ‘couldn’t deal with her anxiety.’ So unnecessary. And such a shame. I’m just sick of it.
Mental illness is real. Anxiety is crippling when you’re in its choking grasp. Depression is a life stealer – if it doesn’t cause you to end your own, it slowly steals away your days, your happiness and your hope.
I’ve felt it. I’ve seen it. It’s all around me. All the time. And I fucking hate it. (And I fully realize there is some New Age proverb out there that says “what you resist persists” or “trying loving that which you hate” some shit like that.)
These kinds of mental conditions affect every aspect of our lives and bodies.
Our thoughts affect our feelings.
Our feelings create our state of being.
Our state of being creates our reality.
The blah-blah low down is the way we feel is what we become.
We create our physical reality with our brains, with our actions and with what we choose for ourself.
My anger comes from a feeling of helplessness.
I feel powerless to help anyone I love overcome their own anxiety, mental illness and depression.
I’m angry that we’ve bought into a media powered belief system that makes us think a pill will cure us [[not because pills don’t help, because they absolutely can and do but because it puts our hope and our personal power in someone else’s hands]].
I’m angry because the beautiful, funny, talented kids I adore are practically incapacitated at times by thought processes and chemical reactions beyond their understanding, and therefore, their control.
They are fearful.
And they are making themselves physically sick.
[[But don’t you worry about my anger.
I’ll write about it.
I’ll vent it to my closest confidantes.
I’ll hammer it out in a kettlebell class.
And I’ll then I’ll hand it back off to God to carry for awhile.]]
Before I feel angry, I feel exasperation with my helplessness. I have to be very careful not to hurt feelings with my impatience. I don’t want anybody that I love to get the message that I think they aren’t somehow trying hard enough.
I know how hard you are trying.
I know how hard you’re trying because we’ve been in it together.
Here is the one thing you might not want to hear:
Mental illness can’t be cured by medicine.
It can be lessened, dulled, relatively controlled or basically managed – short term and long term. But I do not believe in one pill that will make it stop or just go away.
I truly believe that for us to conquer mental illness – collectively as well as individually – we must acknowledge and then take action to address our physiological conditions (what’s happening in the body – hormones, food sensitivities, etc.) including existing brain conditions (http://danielamenmd.amenclinics.com/) and our mental / emotional conditions (our beliefs, our thought patterns, our habits, the safety and freedom to communicate what’s really happening for us.)We must learn to manage our emotional and spiritual selves.
And WE MUST BEGIN to TRULY CONNECT – in person, through touch, listening, with our eyes, and our words.
3 Things YOU MUST KNOW.
- I have hope. There are brilliant people who are working constantly on holistic therapies and treatments – considering hormones and physiology, considering stress states and brain chemistry and creating new tools to use in a healing protocol as well as healing internally first with food and by changing brain and mood states with exercise therapy.
- I might be angry at anxiety, but I still believe in YOU. You are beautiful and tender and talented and smart and funny and you deserve to be well, again. Hang in there. Reach out. Reach out. Reach out.
- You have the power. We are not helpless victims. LIFE HAPPENS but you ALWAYS have the power to choose. You get to choose your responses. Your actions. Your words. You even get to choose your thoughts.
Somehow, many of us learned that this is all beyond our control and that we are hapless passengers just meant to hang on for dear life.
NOTHING could be farther from the truth. You have the power to wake up right now and consciously decide to do whatever it takes to LOVE YOURSELF THROUGH IT.
If there was ONE gift I could give you, it would be the deep and lasting understanding that the following is true:
You are a radiant light.
One of a kind.
And Divinely protected.
You have permission to shine.
The power is already within you.
Joy IS possible and already somewhere is there inside you.
Life loves you and wants you to LIVE.
See? I’m feeling less angry already.
Cheering for you from over here, every damn day.