have reared their ugly heads once more. Its the reason I've been MIA on my blog. I've found myself feeling rather blue and riddled with nerves. And I've hated every minute of it. I'm not even sure how it began, but it did and it wouldn't leave me alone for quite some time. I started going to a therapist and at first I thought it was helping. I figured that talking about it and learning coping methods would help. But then I realized that it really wasn't helping, so I quit going. As for medication to help combat my depression and anxiety...well, they didn't work out like I had hoped. The one for my blue mood resulted in the WORST day of my life ever, so I swore I would never take it again. And when I say WORST day, I mean, like that I honestly thought I was going to die and that terrified me beyond anything. Of course, this brings me to my anxiety medication - clonazepam. I didn't want to take it, because I'd heard so many scary things about it. Except, I had to do something, since I was having panic attacks all the time. So, I took a little bit of the pill and it seemed to help. I realized that I didn't have to be scared of the clonazepam, so I took the whole dose and let me just say - whoa, nelly! I felt completely out of it, drowsy, and beyond mellow. It was frightening that a pill could make me forget my anxieties, but at the same time make me feel doped up. Cripes! I didn't like it one bit. So, I stopped taking the clonazepam after about a month.
The weird thing is that about the time I was getting frustrated with my therapist and the meds, I had started to read Joel Osteen's books. My mom is a huge fan of his and she is always suggesting I read his books. Well, I finally started to read them and let me just say - I wish I hadn't waited so long. I've watched his sermons on TV from time to time and I've always enjoyed them. I get his daily devotionals delivered to my inbox every day. And, I even went to his church in Houston, TX and got the opportunity to meet him. So, I suppose that I've always been a bit of a fan, too. I just never got around to reading his books. Anyhow, right about the time I was feeling really low and super anxious, I picked up one of his books and started reading. The more I read, the more my mind became focused and it felt like a fog was lifting. I started to feel more positive and optimistic about my life and future.
Joel's books are about positive thinking and they were exactly what I needed (and still need). His words made me realize that my depression is not a forever state of mind. I don't have to live an unhappy life. He made me see that I was not living my life, I was merely existing. I was too busy dwelling on the negative and letting my anxiety take over to fully understand that I was the one stopping myself from doing well in my own life. It was like something in my brain just clicked and ever since then I've felt more like myself. I started to see my depression as an infection that needs to get wiped out. I realized that my depression is temporary and rooted in fear - fear which is "false evidence appearing real". I started to think about my life and how I used to want so many things out of it and how I had stopped wanting those things. I had just resigned myself to living a depressed life. I couldn't believe that I had allowed myself to accept that label "depressed" and allowed it to stick. I was shocked and disappointed in myself. And then I realized that I could change my narrative. I could tackle these feelings head on. Being anxious and depressed was something I was going through right now, but it was not my future. Nope, my future was bright and filled with all of my dreams - writing short novels, buying a house in a small town, falling in love and getting married. Dreams that have stayed with me for so long, because they are still what I want. I realized that just because my life had veered off the path that I had drawn up for myself when I was in my early twenties, didn't mean that my dreams had to end - it just meant that I would get to them a little later than I had originally planned and that was just fine by me.
Once I started to see my depression as an infection and started looking toward my future with optimism, I've found myself able to bat away my anxiety a bit more easily. These past few months have been really hard and emotional, but I feel like I am on the right path and that I'm ready to help myself move forward. I definitely plan on finding a new therapist, because I do think it would be helpful to have someone to talk about all of this with. Especially, since I've come to realize that learning about my AIH (a life-threatening illness) at 23 seriously fucked up my mental state - like, finding out that it was a really rare disease and that someone had died from it at 45. Talk about freaking me out about my own future. I've also come to see that my self-esteem is not up to par and hasn't been for some time. So, yeah, I have some issues to work through - plus, I do think they contributed to my depression and anxiety over the years. Suffice it to say, you can see that my mind has been on more than just books lately.
Now, don't worry, bookish posts will start to come again soon enough. I have never stopped reading during this time, I've just found myself reading in spurts instead of regularly. I'm just happy, that I've been able to keep reading - books are my refuge and I've needed them so much these past few months. My blog will still be about books, but I might occasionally throw in a personal post or two. Anyhow, I just wanted to share where I've been and catch you up.
Thanks for reading this post.