I’ve shunted my stories over to story.carathereon.com for my on-going writing month(s), but I didn’t want to leave this space barren. You can go have a poke around there as I’m doing short stories 200-500 words max. It’s a way to not only jumpstart what was my seriously flagging writing, but also promote my Patreon. Yes, I still need to revamp it, but consider supporting. If not me, than another creative who’s struggling to put out content. Many things are free when they shouldn’t be and throwing a buck someone’s way is definitely support.
Anyway, it’s World Mental Health Day and I just wanted to do a little post on the topic. While I’ve never formally been diagnosed with anything, I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety tends to be my biggest issue probably because I’m an emotional empathy so I battle a lot with knowing what to do. I battle with not being sure of my needs and if they’re okay. I struggle with every moment being a scary moment because what if. What if I’m not talented? What if I’m not smart enough? What if I miss something, make someone mad, make a mistake? What if I fuck it all up? That fight or flight response is intense and my heart races and my thoughts circle and I can’t sleep when it gets too bad.
Depression is the rare monster that reads its ugly head at the worst times. When I was so depressed I briefly contemplated myself not on this earth, I knew it was time to get help. I turned to medication first and then made a huge change in my life. It disappeared for long periods only surfacing during the winter until it roared in hard recently. And while I never thought scary thoughts during that time, I was so down I couldn’t stand being out of bed. That’s when I turned to therapy. Best money I’ve ever spent. Finding ways to cope or at least see those moments of depression as signals that I need to change helped pull me out of that.
A lot of people don’t struggle with mental health issues. They are neurotypical and see how to navigate life without dissolving into a puddle of anxiety. I am not one of those people so I navigate the best I can.
How I shut down the anxiety
Your mileage may vary.
Refocusing my thoughts. I find many times I’m successful when I use an affirmation of some kind. Just that reminder that I’m all the things I know I am can help. I am capable, talented, strong…
A good spanking. Sometimes the best way to beat the anxious cycle is a literal beating. Being over someone’s knee does a lot of things for me, but the biggest thing is turning my thoughts off so I can reset.
Varying self care methods. Massage (to release the stress I’m carrying), writing (to document thoughts in my head), exercise (to bring strength to my body so I feel strong), trying to eat better (to keep my mind healthy and clear).
Some of this works better than others and sometimes none of these work. Mental health is a delicate thing and life is really fucking overwhelming. Everyone struggles and we shouldn’t have to hide our struggle.
Happy World Mental Health Day