For more than two months now, I have been battling severe anxiety for various personal and work related reasons. Despite having dealt with post partum depression, I was yet again deeply ashamed of how I was feeling and internalised the whole thing. It took me a while to understand what was happening even though I found myself crying most of the time and stopped going to Crossfit, which I love to bits and is one thing that usually sorts my head.
If I was to describe simply how my days have been, it would be good and bad days. On bad days, I find myself holed up in my room, not leaving my bed, avoiding phone calls, crouching, crying and in pain. It would also involve me hiding from my dad and son so that they don’t see me in this state. And then there are good days. Those are the days I squeeze in all the work possibly I can (because I know it might not last), pay my bills, take my son out and meet friends. There have also been several days when I have dressed up to step out but some kind of unexplained fear takes over and I just end up crying myself to sleep.
I refused therapy because just like during my post partum depression I know if I’m deeply aware, I will figure a way out. The awareness comes from the fact that depression runs in my family and I know how it looks. And today as I watched this Ted Talk shared by a friend on FB by Johann Hari, it made complete sense. To quote him “Your depression is a signal. It’s telling you something. The very first step is we have to stop insulting these signals by saying they’re a sign of weakness, or madness or purely biological, except for a tiny number of people. We need to start listening to these signals, because they’re telling us something we really need to hear. It’s only when we truly listen to these signals, and we honor these signals and respect these signals that we’re going to begin to see the liberating, nourishing, deeper solutions.”
Of course, I realised that I need to do something to get out of it but I wasn’t able to think. I wasn’t able to think because I was distracting myself away from the problem by binge watching Netflix, being excessively on social media, eating and drinking erratically. Also, it’s easier to fool myself that way as my work involves using a lot of social media. Basically, I have been ignoring the signals.
I have been taking it one day at a time and however, anxious things, surroundings and people make me, –
1) I push myself to go to Crossfit even though I cry at times during my workouts. Sharing my anxiety with my instructor helps and being regular has started making me feel better.
2) I can’t sit through 20 mins yet of meditation so I play Tibetan Bowls meditation. I can’t reiterate more that it always helps.
3) During the time the meditation music plays, I get answers to some of my questions.
4) I have identified some of the triggers and I am approaching them very gingerly. Tackling them slowly.
I started out my blog and Instagram because I wanted to help others and somewhere I got really busy. Single motherhood might look like fun but it hasn’t been easy despite the support I get from my dad. Start up life might look like something to aspire for but trust me it takes a toll on you. And somehow in being consumed to make a living, it started eating me up that I’m not adding any value to either my life or anyone else’s life. And this thought started clawing me from the inside. The Ted Talk made it very clear to me today that my anxiety is giving me a signal. I haven’t found any answers yet. May be I need deeper connections, I need to start writing again and let myself be loved.