A few weeks ago, I had a meltdown.
There, I said it. Whew, that wasn’t so bad.
But, actually, it was pretty bad. And eye opening. I am one of the 350 million people in the world who struggle with depression and anxiety. I actively battle against it, and have been doing quite well for some time. But here’s the thing: you can’t just take medication and be cured of depression and anxiety. It’s something that sticks with you. It takes a lot of work and effort to feel good about yourself and your life, and my meltdown came when I stopped investing in the activities and interests that make me happy.
I saw it coming, but I tried to power through those familiar feelings by filling my life with stuff that wasn’t really core to who I am. So the feelings kept building and building, and then it all boiled over into an anxiety attack—something I’d never had before, and that scared me deeply. I reached out to some friends and my parents, all of whom provided great support and said the same thing: “Go see your doctor asap.” I did, and now I’m working on some additional solutions to help me battle this and work my way back to good.
Interestingly enough, the timing of my anxiety attack coincided with my previously scheduled two-week staycation. So I took those two weeks to check in with myself and surround myself with the things that make me feel great (family and friends, mostly). I also made a conscious effort to put down my phone and disconnect from work. This allowed me to focus on myself and getting back into the swing of doing things that make me feel good. It’s been a positive first step, and I feel confident that I’m headed in the right direction.
This week, I encourage you to check in with yourself. Take some time to evaluate how you’re doing and feeling, and then take the steps necessary to get yourself back to good if you need to. Ask for help if you need it.
And if you are struggling, remember the network of people who want to be there for you is probably much deeper than you know. Everyone is willing to help a friend in need. Heck, reach out to me if you need someone to talk to.