Is it really so hard to put into words all the things that run through my head? I feel like there is a dam that’s been filling for years with all the words left unsaid, all unspoken opinions, suppressed creativity, silent responses, swallowed defenses. This dam is reaching dangerous levels, with every choke, more water surges in. Every silence filled gap teeters on dangerous ground- this damn is on the verge of breaking. I can feel it in my bones, those chokes, those things I wanted to say but was too afraid to, are evoking a chain reaction. This damn will break and when it does, a shift will occur within in me that will be irrevocable. A spark will make the connection between my brain and my tongue that has seemed to be lying dormant within me. The sparks will fire the way necessary to allow my thoughts to flow through and out my mouth, the way I have always dreamt of. The responses won’t come out strained under my breath or stutter filled, but free flowing like water pouring forth from a stream.
As many of you know, I had a rough patch last semester in college. I had a bit of a break down and retreated into myself. I was depressed and anxious. Making small talk with people seemed like the most forced activity I could think of doing. To put it simply, last semester was pretty terrible and left me feeling exhausted and full of self doubt.
In a previous post, I listed the ways in which I intended to get myself out of my depression and anxiety fueled episode. Some of those things included exercising daily, eating well, meditating and keeping a gratitude journal. I’ve been doing a lot of those things and have noticed a huge change in my mood and outlook on life. I’ve been feeling more confident in myself and taking more risks again. Besides these wonderful changes though, I have also rediscovered the secret to living a happy life.
It’s all about balance.
I know its not always the easiest thing to find and when you do find it, it’s tough to work to keep that balance. Keeping your balance takes work, but it’s so worth it.
For example, over the past few months I have realized that exercising works wonders to keep me balanced throughout the day and feeling happy. Without exercising to balance out the hours of time I spend sitting at a desk, I get anxious and drained of energy. I know this is an obvious, well known fact, but the thing here is that I have been prioritizing exercise in my daily schedule. I drag myself to exercise whether I feel like it or not and by the time I finish I feel invigorated and ready to take on the world.
Another realization I had is that doing things I enjoy (like watching Netflix, free writing, people watching and letting my mind wander) never feels as good unless I have done something productive. Whether that be homework, laundry, planning, crossing things on my to do list, etc., it does not really matter. I need to do something productive in order to truly be able to enjoy my hobbies to the fullest.
One last example. I’ve been making and effort to eat healthier and have found that by eating healthier and more concisely, food has never tasted so good. It’s crazy how much more I enjoy food when I am eating mindfully and exercising portion control.
Balance is the key to enjoying my day to the fullest and going to bed feeling accomplished and ready for a great night’s sleep. I’ve heard that balance is vital, a hundred times before, but it has never really sunk in until now. I feel like I’ve found some hidden treasure that’s been there all along but I just walked right by it without taking a chance to give it a second look. I recommend you all take a couple of minutes to see if you’ve been living a balanced life, and if you feel like you haven’t been doing so well in that field, seek the things that you feel are missing or neglected in your life that might bring you that balance.
You’re idea of balance will be unlike everyone else’s. There are too many factors that affect what your needs are in order to find balance. Whether your introverted or extroverted, single, dating, married, married with kids, whether your working or not, going to school or working a life long dream… the list goes on and on. We just need to experiment and find what our balance looks like and try our best to fulfill it. It’s one of the best ways I have found to live a content life. And since we are constantly changing and evolving as people, our idea of balance should adjust to those changes. Take a minute to reflect on that, you won’t regret it.
I had a really good night’s sleep last night. Overall, I can see I am beginning to feel better. It’s just not like the switch from light to dark I wish would happen. To put it simply, the times I am feeling more lethargic and pessimistic are becoming either less prevalent or not as bad as before. I have a long way to go, but I know I am on the right road.
Right now, I am sitting outside, taking some sun in and getting some fresh air. The weather is surprisingly nice today so I might as well take advantage of it. I am feeling very peaceful and content at the moment. The warmth of the sun on my skin is so calming and reassuring.
For my overly active brain, meditation has been helping. I want to continue working on that. Yoga is another wonderful practice that I have my eye on. I’m reading a book on it now and have also been giving it a try. I have also been playing the piano, learning new songs. It’s very relaxing and takes my mind off things.
I am taking advantage of the time that I have off at the moment. Spring semester is around the corner, and with 6 classes on my horizon I know I will need to gather all the strength and good habits as possible. Last semester was rough. I managed to get As and Bs in my five classes, but I felt like crap. Not because of the workload, but because interacting with people became extremely difficult to me.
My anxiety affected me socially big time and I was awkward, uncomfortable and nervous during group work and presentations. I loathed going to class, and that’s no fun. I am hopeful that all the things I am doing to help my anxiety will help me relax in social situations again. Not that I have ever been the life of the party, talkative one, I just don’t want social interactions to be that painful ever again. Confidence in my ability to do well in my endeavors is slowly coming back, so I am looking forward to the semester. I’ve always loved a good challenge.
A few weeks back, Accepting Awesome was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog!
Here are my answers to Accepting Awesome’s questions
- What motivates you to write your blog? I love writing and decided it would be nice to share it with other people. I first started reading other people’s blogs and loved the reaffirmation that I got that I am not alone in my struggles. I hope that others might be able to take away the same message from reading my blog.
- What are your three most favorite things in the world?
- My Family and friends
- Learning about new places and things
- Reading and Writing
- If you were to write a book, what would it be about and what would it be called? This is a good one! One of my life goals is to write a book, I am just not sure about what yet. I’ll have to get back to you on that one
- What comic book character most closely represents you and your life and why? Oh Geez, Im not really familiar with comic book characters, sorry!
- Who, in your opinion, is the most inspirational person ever to live and why? There are so many inspirational people that it’s tough to pick just one. I find anyone that has the strength to change what is not working for them in order to live a life that makes them happy, to be truly inspiring.
- What is the greatest challenge that you have ever undertaken? The greatest challenge would have to be dealing with depression and anxiety. It’s making me a stronger and more compassionate person though, and I am learning a lot about myself in the process, so I cant say it’s all bad.
- What brings you peace? Meditating. Whenever I actually sit myself down and do it, I am fascinated by the way it makes me feel afterwards.
- What memory, event or achievement gives you the greatest sense of achievement? Getting published in my university newspaper. I know it might seem silly, but I felt so accomplished seeing my name on the front page with the title “freelance writer.” It gave me the confidence to describe myself as a writer.
9. If you were not called by your own name, what would you want to be called and why? Any affectionate nickname would be fine with me :)
Here are the rules to the Liebster Award:
- Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.
- Answer the 10 questions from the nominator
- Nominate 10 blogs and create 10 questions for your nominees.
Here are my 10 nominees:
My 10 Questions for the Nominees:
- If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
- Out of all of the things you’ve done, what are you most proud of?
- If you could accomplish only one more thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Who do you admire the most and why?
- What is your favorite movie and why?
- What is your favorite book and why?
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
- Name three things you like about yourself?
- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
- What do you enjoy the most about blogging?
I’ve done a fair amount of reading lately about depression and natural ways to help it. I am feeling a lift of mood now so I wanted to take advantage and pen out a plan to get out of this rut.
The first thing I did was to take responsibility of the things I have been doing that have not helped my situation at all. I have separated myself from the victim mentality enough to be able to recognize that some of the things I’ve been doing have been hurting me. And this was not to find another reason to get down on myself, but rather to be honest about it so I can do something about it.
I also decided it was important for me to talk to someone about the way I have been feeling. People have started to notice I have not been myself but attributed it to me coming down with the flu or cold. I did not correct them. A couple of days ago though, I decided to tell my sisters about it and the amount of support and concern that poured from them right away was definitely reassuring and made me feel a bit better right away. I don’t feel isolated anymore and the fact that they’ve been checking on me everyday has prevented me from completely retreating into myself.
I have come up with the following things that I will do to help me feel better. Some of things on this list are from past experience, from books, Internet articles, counselors and advice from people. I have taken the things I feel will work best for me and came up with this list.
- Get in a sleeping routine (Sleep by11 wake up at 7)
- Exercise an hour a day
- Meditate for 20 minutes
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get ready as if I’m going out (even if I’m staying home all day)
- Do something productive (cross of an item from a to-do list)
- Do something I enjoy
- Write three things I am grateful for
I am not expecting to do everything perfectly everyday. Even if I just did a couple of these things each day it will definitely positively impact me. I imagine the more I do the more I will want to do. That’s usually how it goes. It kind of reminds me of this quote I love, “the harder I practice, the luckier I get.”
Some of the things on the list might seem overly simple and obvious, like doing something I enjoy. The thing is I have not felt like doing anything lately, so doing something like playing the piano or reading will keep my mind occupied on something positive. I have all the time in the world to dedicate to myself right now. I am in between jobs and done with the semester. This break could not have come at a better time. I am hopeful my journey to getting better will make me a stronger person and push me to greater heights than I had imaged for myself. I just have to keep looking for that silver lining.
I’ve been gone for a while from wordpress. My goal with this blog was to document my life experiences as I try to find myself and become a more positive, happier person. I have noticed that I have been very negative lately though and I don’t want to put that out there. I have been down in the dumps and writing something with a positive twist has become virtually impossible for me to do. So I have been staying away, adding another thing to feel guilty about because writing is something I love to do and something I have been neglecting lately.
I feel bad for my poor sisters. Trying to cheer me up to no avail, trying to pull me out of my reclusive episodes with no success. They’ve seen me have a couple of panic attacks lately and I hate it. I am their older sister, I should be the one that helps them though things, not the other way around.
I still have not let the truth seep through. Depression is a state of mind that has nothing to do with my outside circumstances. I’ve spent so many sleepless hours trying to figure out why I am so ungrateful because I have let myself get depressed even though everything is okay; and the things that are not so well, are entirely in my control to fix. But I am missing the point. I need to cut myself some slack if I want to get better.
I need to admit that I am hurting, like the rest of the world is, but not feel sorry for myself. I’ve done a lot of that too lately and it is the most dangerous of poisons that will keep you in the hole unable to find your way out. Just accept I’m feeling lousy and need the extra love and encouragement of the people that surround me. Let go of trying to be the one that’s always got it together. Even if it freaks some people out at first because I am not “being myself.” They will soon catch up on that fact that the “self” I was being was never really me. I really like that idea that people have of me though. The calm, serious, responsible girl that has it together. The most likely to succeed in whatever endeavor she decides to take a go at. Ha! Im done trying to keep appearances. Im getting off that hamster wheel, little by little, and letting the damaged, scared and lost side of me come through more and more, until I no longer feel need to hide behind this façade. Finally allowing myself to be the multifaceted person I truly am.
Nothing beats the crisp autumn breeze on campus. Time for the comfort of your favorite sweater and cuddling with that cozy blanket that has a way of making things feel just right. It’s times like these that remind me to stop and notice all the beauty around me. It’s a struggle to stop walking around with blinders on, rushing from once place to another. It’s too easy to get sucked into whatever it is I am doing or worrying about. But life really truly is too short and beautiful to wake up and one day and realize you sleepwalked through most of it. I intend to stop and look around throughout each day, to not allow myself to get lost in the craziness inside my head. I want to notice and appreciate the everyday things that make life worth living that often go unnoticed. It’s time I take the blinders off.