Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Good News

The worst thing about depression and anxiety is how isolating it is, even if you are doing the work required to reach out and be with people. I am so lucky that I have an army of friends both online and in person who are always sending me support emails and "me too's" about depression and anxiety, a veritable "you are not alone" group that has been keeping my spirits from dropping too far into the chasm. I can't say enough how great it is to have such a wide and caring support group.

But it's still hard. I find myself unable to resist the pull of the sleep that gives me peace. I find myself on long walks into the streets of Allston and still feeling alone. I find it good, distracting for the most part to go on these walks, but even then, and even when I'm sitting in a coffee shop -- the therapists are big on sitting in coffee shops -- I feel negative ruminating thoughts sneak in, and I have to fight them off.

Actually according to the DBT school of thought, you don't exactly "fight" off the Automatic Negative Thoughts. It's more like you have to gently but firmly tell them to go away and replace them with new, helpful thoughts. When you think negative thoughts, you have to put up a stop, and I actually envision a stop sign. It's a suggested method and seems to work for me. You've got to think "this is not a helpful thought," and instead tell yourself you're okay, you are not your anxiety, you're going to be alright, I'm becoming an expert at deflecting these negative thoughts and I'm getting better at it every single day.

I have some really good news: I got some freelance writing assignments. I have actual, real work to do. It's for a small but worldwide PR firm, and that'll keep me from sleeping. It's scary because I don't know if I can do it. I mean I know I can write, it's just that this is the first work I'll be doing since the psychotic breakdown and of course I am nervous about it. I've done it before the psychotic breakdown. But can I do it again? Wish me luck.