How To Make Space For Your Depression And Anxiety (Without Letting It Consume You)

Happy New Year!

I was thinking about the past year and even back to 2020 and everything that we have been through around the world. The past couple of years have been mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially challenging for us all.

I was also reflecting on what the past couple of years has done to my mental health. I feel like a failure. I have not been following all the things that my therapist taught me to improve my social anxiety and depression. I want to be better, but COVID and the quarantines have created an environment where my social anxiety and depression thrives. My therapist would be disappointed with me. I have not been able to gather the courage to go on a date, much less meet anyone new to make new friends. Everything is so hard now.

It can be difficult for someone who does not have depression or any mental illness to understand how those of us who are fighting silent or invisible battles are feeling. I wanted to give you an idea of what those you love are fighting or how they are feeling.

Twitter is a dark place, and recently I have been using it to monitor real-time events or the weather. I did not understand how negative Twitter can be. People are fearless with their relentless attacks and dissemination of information to the worldwide web. The other day I was reading various Twitter handles posts about COVID-19, climate change, the economy, and social issues. I started thinking about my life and why I even bother staying around. Everything seems so pessimistic. Why do I waste my time dealing with difficult issues in my life? Why should I stay anymore?

After two hours of reflection, I realized I stay because of my family and friends. I stay because I want to try to continue putting goodness out into the world. I stay because I still hope that the world will improve. I want to travel. I want to see the clearest water in the world. I want to see penguins. I want to visit remote places in the world.

As much as I get frustrated with the world and grow tired of fighting my personal mental health battles, I stay for the love that my family gives me. I stay for the support that my friends provide. I stay for the sun shining on my face after a storm. I stay for the corners of the world I have yet to explore and the experiences I have yet to have. I stay for the food and the authentically prepared meals I have yet to eat. I stay for the fluffy dogs I have yet to pet.

So many days, it is difficult to fight through the darkness and sadness I feel, but I continue to hope for a better tomorrow. I hope that the world will be more positive and loving. Until that day, I can only look internally and try to be positive about my future. I can only hope that the work that I have done to improve my mental health translates to positive relationships with my friends and family. If I do not make any new friends or establish a new relationship in 2022, it would be unfortunate. However, those of us who have been supported by friends and family through our mental health journeys must embrace that support and appreciate that love.

It can be difficult to support and understand what we are going through during our mental health journeys, but we should appreciate the people in our life who stick around. You all do not judge us, you listen to us, and sometimes you even sit with us on the couch while we watch reality TV, eat terrible food, and do not speak a word. Thank you for being here for us when we do not want to be here for ourselves. These dark days will not last.

I believe in you; I hope you believe in you too.