A week ago I thought I had my anxiety under control.... ButT today I feel like I don't deserve to be called "adult" and this morning felt like I couldn't handle any more. THEN I learned that my psychiatrist bill is $700, not the $40 copay I was expecting. I know there are ups and downs, but fuck. This down hurts. A lot. I'm back to some obsessive tendencies I haven't done in months. Any tips for the down days?
I am so sorry. That sucks.
When I have down days, I do the best I can (being gentle with myself, and forgiving, because what is my best varies from day to day) to remember that this isn’t the first time I’ve had a down day, and to give myself credit for making it through.
“Ah, but that was different, this time is THE WORST,” your brain will say. And then we have to remember that our brain says that every single time, because depression lies.
I try to remember (and so I try to help others remember) that you don’t deserve this crap. This isn’t happening because of something you did or didn’t do; it’s just the way our brains are wired.
I focus on doing cognitive behavioral therapy, which is basically identifying a negative emotion (sadness, despair, etc.) and focusing on something awesome that made me happy, to replace it. For example, I may read a news story about one of my friends getting a gig I desperately wanted, and instead of being super happy for them, I’ll feel sad for me. When that happens, I have to deliberately think about and remember the specific emotional experience I had when I did something cool that I felt good about. I do my best to relive it, sort of turning up the mental volume on it, until I can’t hear (feel) the bad stuff.
That’s oversimplifying it, and maybe I’m not explaining it well, but it’s one tool that works for me.
I notice that, in your ask, you didn’t say anything about giving up or stopping therapy, and I wanted you to know that I’m proud of you for refusing to be a victim, and for sticking with your treatment and therapy to take good care of yourself.
Check in with me and let me know how you’re doing in a few days, okay? I promise you that it will get better. You are stronger than you think.