I had the best March ever.
The weather was warm, my husband and I were starting to landscape our yard, we were planning a couple of summer trips, I was involved in a lot of things that were making me feel very accomplished and content, and I was on track with my nutrition and workout routine. Was even starting to see results! This was all great for me because winter had been kind of a doozy. I had been affected by the season change for the first time in my life, and at the same time, my hormones had decided they were going to freak out at the fact that I had turned 30. I had spent most of the winter depressed, irritable, lethargic, irrational, and apathetic. So the turn in events and the onset of spring had me feeling much better.
But then April came along. And granted, we are only in the second week of April so you can probably imagine how irritating and discouraging it was to suddenly have everything go wonky all at once. My husband and I had a pregnancy scare, so I went off one of the herbal remedies that was helping get my moods back in order. Well, the scare was just that—a scare, but not taking the herbs I’d been taking had suddenly brought back all of my mood issues with a screaming vengeance. Now I was anxiety riddled, depressed for no good reason, about two seconds away from punching someone, and had a short fuse like you wouldn’t believe. I didn’t even like me.
Not only that, but tax season had unexpectedly thrown a gigantic wrench into our vacation plans, we got a random storm that felt like winter was giving us all the middle finger as it went out, my work was suddenly nonexistent, and it seemed like mean people were becoming a daily occurrence. I was fighting with my husband because I was a temporary lunatic, I was crying all the time, I was exhausted from insomnia, my car started acting weird, and my workout routine nose-dived into the nearest bottle of Merlot while I chomped on some baklava. It was strange if I DIDN’T wake up in the middle of the night having a random panic attack, and I generally just felt the overwhelming desire to run away.
I am sure many people reading this have or know someone who has anxiety and depression issues. They can be terrible for many reasons, but one is the fact that we become our own worst enemy. Everything suddenly seems insurmountable, even getting out of bed in the morning. I felt useless, hopeless, ridiculous, and angry over everything.
Not to mention, the day before an annual event that is very important to me, I was eating lunch with my husband and actually feeling a tiny bit better, when I chomped down on a chicken wing, accidentally gnawed a bone, and broke the dental work off of a tooth I had chipped years earlier, thus turning me into what I considered a terrifying hillbilly of a person. Now, I have been having a recurring nightmare for years about my teeth falling out and it is generally rather terrifying, so this almost crushed me. I felt like I was going to overflow with stress, not just from the tooth, but from everything.
Then my husband came and sat next to me in the restaurant booth, put his arm around me, and continued to be the stellar paragon of strength and support he had been throughout my depress-fest over the past couple weeks. He talked to me for awhile, and I noticed my tension melt away and turn into a kind of resigned annoyance. Everything that had been happening was annoying, but really, that’s all it was.
I sighed, looked up at him, and muttered, “Felled by a freaking chicken wing.” And then we both burst into laughter.
In that moment, I realized two things: 1. I was starting to turn the corner and get back to my normal self, and 2. I was actually a really fortunate person. Was I irritated at all the little stupid things that had been going on? Of course I was. Did I hate the fact that my body decided to betray me and that I had to worry about depression and anxiety at all? Well, sure. Who wouldn’t? Did I LIKE missing half my tooth? No, but what could I really do about it?
The thing was, I had a person by my side who never got frustrated with me while I moped and brooded and attempted to get myself back in order. Not only my husband, but I had an amazing support system of friends and family who were always there for me. Not everyone can claim that.
So am I still annoyed at what a pain the past few weeks have been? Sure, but paying attention to the little things that matter to you is really the key to dealing with anything discouraging. And laugh about it. Because laughing is always better than crying. Find the positive things in your life that we tend to overlook when we are in a slump. Focus on those things, because they are unique to everyone, and they are yours. Confide and take refuge in friends and family, and let go of the things you can’t control. Everything always has a way or working out. There is no sense in making yourself sick over things that you have no say in.
At the end of the day, we all have struggles, and we all have ups and downs, but life is a gift and even when we are down, the fact that we are still alive and kicking is proof that we can fight our way through bad situations and come out the other side a champion. My last couple weeks have been more a string of stupid irritations that anything, but I know that some of you out there are going through much worse.
Know that you are ALL warriors, regardless of what battle you are fighting, and you are NEVER alone.