advice · anxiety · Depression · Mental Health · panic disorder · recovery

Showing Strength in Difficult Times

I’m back with another mental health post today, as I am finally starting to see some better days after my little mental break down the other day, which I even made a post about. I am on day two of feeling better, and I think I’m feeling slightly better today than I did yesterday, so that’s pretty exciting. Today, I decided I am going to write about showing strength in difficult times, as that is something that relates to what I’ve been dealing with in this last, miserable, and slow, week. Consumed by my anxiety. It’s super important to identify your strength in times you feel like you’re on the verge of giving up. I hope you enjoy this read today, along with this wonderful featured image that I stumbled upon on Facebook today, that really hit home for me.

After reading this, ask yourself, “When did I show strength in a difficult time?” and express it in anyway that comes to mind to come back to someday when you feel weak and broken, you are stronger and smarter than you think, in your dark days.

*Trigger Warning*

When did I show strength in a difficult time?

I can answer this question in about a billion different ways. My whole life is one big battle, ever since I left my hometown, began to grow into my teen years, developing all sorts of mental disorders, and becoming more aware to life itself. Reflecting back on my life, there’s been a lot of things I’ve been through that I can jot down, I can write about the time my step dad’s mother threatened to kick me out because God doesn’t “accept bisexuals” and she “will not have one under her roof”. I can write about the time my first love broke up with me. I can write about the first time I attempted suicide. Or maybe the time I was molested and developed PTSD.

There’s even more than that. The list could literally go on and on, but honestly, there’s one situation in particular that really really comes to mind when I ask myself this question.

It’s not about the first few times I’ve had an anxiety attack when I didn’t know what was happening, it wasn’t about the first time being in an abusive relationship, it’s not even about losing my best friend to suicide.

It’s about this exact week in particular.

Thinking about it just makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry, but at the same time give myself a huge hug, because even though I was facing so much panic, so many episodes, even breaking the promise to myself that I’d no longer self harm, barely eating, and isolation. I was terrified I’d never get out of this, this time.

Usually my bad days will last no longer than four days, I go through it, I get better, and then I get at least a week of good days before it happens again. But this time, it lingered, and when I looked back on how long it had been and realized it was only a week, I was in complete shock, because it felt like it had been a month of this constant battle between my head & I.

So how did I show strength this past week?

I lived. I survived. I didn’t give up on myself no matter how hard everything was, how badly I wanted to just end everything because the physical side to it all was unbearable. But I didn’t, and here I am, typing about it. I didn’t even see myself being right here, at my computer desk, a smile on my face as I chug a can of Mountain Dew without my nerves making me want to spit it all back up, food happily in my tummy, feeling like I just broke out of these chains that were holding me so tightly. I didn’t see myself being here, I didn’t see any good days coming up for awhile.

I was struggling so bad this week. I had tried so many different ways to be productive, as in the past when my anxiety was like this, I could barely even get out of bed to shower, but now, I feel more aware, like I understand what’s going on, and can still be productive, but when I can’t be productive like I wasn’t as much this week because the anxiety was just so high, I was so scared. I felt like I was only getting worse and maybe I had needed to go check myself back into the hospital because now it was getting to the point I couldn’t do anything again, mainly because everything I tried, just wasn’t working at that point. That was a huge deal to me, it really made me feel like I was losing it, and turning farther away from recovering.

Because about a month ago, I saw myself getting better, I saw that light, and before I knew it, it was gone like a pair of headlights lighting up your room on a dark, starry, evening. They’re gone in the blink of an eye. That’s what it was like for me. It felt like I lost that light right as I acknowledged it.

This week was a drag. Not being as productive as I normally am, not spending time with my family, let alone out of my room, because it was the only place I felt safe, not eating like a cow like I typically do, it felt wrong. I feel like there is this time bomb ticking, because I’m 18, I need to move out soon and get my life started, I can’t live with my parents forever, hiding in my teenage bedroom, as much as I’d love to stick around with my parents and enjoy myself under this roof like I have been since we moved here, that’s not the way the cookie crumbles, eventually you have to spread your wings and fly, and for some reason, I fear that, I fear getting out of my comfort zone for good. Despite how smart I know I am, and that I know I’ll make it in the big world, and I can rebuild my sanctuary.

In conclusion here, as I’ve noticed I’m sliding off into the world of babbles, I feel ultimately proud of myself. I feel very strong, and not as weak as I did over the past week. I feel like I’ve proved to myself that there’s truly going to be some shitty days in recovery, it’s normal, like I’ve constantly been told, recovery is one big roller coaster, you’ll see a share of good days, and bad days. Unfortunately, I am stuck with constant bad days, but it doesn’t define the good days, it makes me cherish them a little bit more.

It makes me realize the little things in the good days. Cherishing the good days, makes getting through the bad days, a little bit easier. They keep me going. They remind me that nothing bad lasts forever.

I am proud of myself. I believe that no matter how many panic attacks, bad days, whatever, is thrown in my face, I can handle it. Sure, the physical symptoms SUCK, but I can do it. I have a lot of faith in myself, and so much power over my panic, it’s just that maybe right now, I’m a little vulnerable to it, and I just have to continue regaining my power back. It’s possible. This miserable week, has helped me come to the realization that I’ve been here before, I’ve survived EVERY episode, and somehow, I still managed to get out and see better days, I was capable of going months without anxiety, and I did it all on my own.

Who says I won’t get back to that ever again?

Only I can, and what I’ve decided, is to continue fighting with this bright flame inside of me, to see those days again. Because, I know it’s in me.

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