When I sat down to write this post I wanted it to be a wisdom-packed, how-to post on how to cope with anxiety when you’re going through a hard time.
I wanted to be able to give you the magical cure to stop you from worrying and feeling depressed when life gets dark.
I wanted to give you the solution to natural feelings that can be exacerbated when you suffer from anxiety and depression.
But I sat down at my computer this morning and realized….I couldn’t do that.
Truth is, I’ve been having a rough few days. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of controlling my anxiety lately. My meds are working well. My mood has been a thousand times better. Life has genuinely been feeling good.
But last Friday I found out about the sudden death of a good friend. She was someone I met at a job I used to have. And while we haven’t seen each other in person a lot over the past 7 years or so, she was someone I always kept in touch with
Quick messages to tell each other we loved or missed each other. And I could always count on a “Happy Birthday” post that was actually sincere and heartfelt.
It’s hard when anyone you love dies. But there’s something different about the loss of someone your age – or in this case a year younger. It reminds you of your mortality. It forces you to confront the fact that a long life is not promised.
Death doesn’t care what you’ve done or what you’ve left undone. It doesn’t care about your plans for next week or all those people who love you and depend on you to be there.
A big part of coping with my anxiety disorder has been trying to overcome irrational thoughts that I could leave my house and never come back home.
I try to deal with it by telling myself the thoughts are irrational. But when a 28-year-old friend dies suddenly in their sleep, it’s hard to tell yourself that death can’t happen to you, so don’t worry.
This is the spot where I’d love to write a list of things you can do to cope with anxiety during hard days…but right now I don’t have anything profound or list worthy to recommend.
I’ve gotten out of the bed each morning, although I have preferred to stay. I’ve worked. I’ve done homework. I’ve cared for my family. I’ve trudged my way through each day…with an achy, tense neck and shoulders. I’ve cried in my moments alone.
But I’ve also thought about the funny moments my friend and I shared. Looked back on our messages preserved by Facebook. Giggled at the things that only we would understand. And wondered if there’s anything I meant to say, but didn’t.
If you’re dealing with hard days that are made even worse by mental illness, I wish I could tell you how I overcame those feelings.
But all I can say for now is to find happiness in the little victories like getting out of bed and showering, take comfort in the fact that bad days are usually temporary and do your best.
How do you cope with anxiety and depression during the bad days?