Anxiety and Depression- A Tug of War
I’m no stranger to depression, like many people I imagine, but for me, it’s an old friend I cut off long ago. The days when I felt constantly choked out, claustrophobic and hopeless have vanished, and I feel more at peace with myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days, everyone does, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was.
These days I’ve made a new friend, anxiety, who isn’t much fun to be around either. Anxiety for me is fear of the unknown, anticipation, and can be hard to describe. I’ll sometimes know it’s there, and not know why. It’ll shut my body down while I try frantically to wrestle my thoughts down, but this only causes it to worsen. “Just try to be calm” is never the advice that helps when someone feels anxious.
However, anxiety for me is the lesser of two evils, having experienced depression for many years and understanding how to get control of my mind, I no longer have to suffer weeks feeling like I’m drifting through life.
I’ve managed to become privileged with a clear mind thanks to a promise I made myself, which was to dedicate time everyday rewiring my perspective on the world. This was made possible through reading book after book from the self-help section of the library, but one in particular held a quote that managed to entirely shift my view on depression.
This book was called You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero, and featured a quote which went along the lines of:
“When you feel depressed, you are stuck in the past, when you’re feeling anxious you’re stuck in the future, when you are most at peace, you are in the present”.
For me this felt like a complete epiphany, and is something I often think of to bring my head back to Earth.
A way that helps to visualise this, is to imagine standing with a long piece of rope in each hand. On the end of the rope to your left is depression, and on the other side is anxiety.Whenever you take your mind to the past (depression) or future (anxiety) you pull these things closer towards you, creating tension in the rope.
However, if you keep your mind present, the ropes show slack, and all is calm. (Trippy huh).
If you struggle with anxiety or depression I recommend this visualisation exercise, or perhaps reading this book, and certainly visiting your GP if these negative feelings continue.
I hope this post helped you in one way or another, please leave a comment, and take care!
Special thanks to Loren Catana who bought this book for me!