A Portrait Of Words: Painted By Anxiety

A Portrait Of Words: Painted By Anxiety

What exactly goes on in your head?

There are never-ending thoughts that swim through my mind at the most inconvenient of times. These go far beyond worrying about what I want to eat later, or what my friend meant by a statement he or she made the previous day. They are piercing memories of the most random incidents that happened years ago that should have been long lost by this point in life. Remembering almost every event from your childhood can be a blessing and a curse in disguise as you try to move forward mentally and spiritually.

Having the ability to call upon so many memories is a beautiful art that should not be tossed aside. Not everyone is granted the skill and mentality to process information in such a way. Your past is what defines you as a person in the present and should be treated as life’s foundation. Never forget where you came from and who assisted with the fast paced life you personally live.

Unfortunately, the thoughts are a constant burden when they fill your random access memory. I will be taking an exam for a course and my mind will immediately cut away to something I did six years ago at a school function. Clouds have now entered the atmosphere of my brain which is depending on the specific knowledge to pass the exam currently in front of me. Sometimes, I start to panic because questions start to fall from these clouds and drown what little hope there still is on the ground. Why do I do this myself? Is there any way out of these constant variables in my life?

Once I settle down and come back to earth, it appears that at least ten minutes have passed from the current task needing to be completed in front of me. Now, I am personally hindering myself with three different thought process as I rush to work on the present, while a complex deciphering of the past is taking place. Do I simply have an issue with focusing on tasks at hand?

Then I come up with a possible solution once I have a moment to myself. I can become a much stronger, better version of myself because I can vividly see the building blocks (foundation) in front of me. However, this solution only has a very limited pathway that eventually ends. Completely focusing on the past can be detrimental to your present state as opportunities and life events are missed from lack of attention. You can lay your foundation for miles, but you will eventually need to start building upward.

These thoughts do not go away nor have they disappeared willingly. What type of memories cloud your vision from the present? Never let your past bring you down away from the life being lived at this very second. Everyone deals with this issue in their own way whether it be through past, present, or future anxiety. Always strive for the answer and never back down from an opportunity to build upward because it will just give you another thing to worry about.

Cover Image Credit: spiritualityhealth.com

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Reflections From the Outside World

It doesn’t get better unless you work for it

It has been exactly one month since I was released from the psych ward, but don’t worry… I’m not here to tell all of you struggling with mental health problems that it gets better overnight, because it doesn’t. Nothing will get better if you don’t work for it.

If all you do is lay in bed and let your depression swallow your life, it will not get better. If you let your anxiety take over your life to where you cannot leave your house, it will not get better. You need to work for it. More often than not, working for it means accepting that you may need medication. For me personally, medication has been the only thing that has allowed me to have any sort of balance in my life.

Looking back, I am so grateful for my stay at the hospital. I am not ashamed of it nor will I ever be. I am stronger than ever and now realize that my mental health will always take priority over school, work, relationships, friendships, etc.

I’m not here to tell you that throughout the time I’ve been off and on medication that my life has been amazing, because that’s not true. Of course you will have bad days, days where getting out of bed seems impossible, or days where you just feel lost and out of it.

Metaphorically, Depression is similar to a person and their shadow. On some days it feels like you are inside a dim room and your shadow (the depression) is nowhere to be seen. However, there are days where you feel like you are outside on a bright sunny day and your shadow follows you everywhere.

You will have those days and that's completely okay. Just remember on those days to do your best and realize that the next day is a completely new day where you can completely start over.

To those who have experienced inpatient care, Remember all of the feelings you had while you were doing the inpatient. Remember the calmness of the environment, the feelings of understanding from the other patients, the feeling of safety and security from the demons inside your brain. Try to give yourself all of those feelings. Make yourself feel understood, calm, safe, wanted, and loved. Many times we do not see ourselves as spiraling downwards until we are so deep in the hole that it is too late to find a ladder to get out. Do not stop working on yourself; your mental health is always a priority over everything. Sometimes you need to fight yourself for your own life.

Cover Image Credit: pexe;s

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For Those Who Struggle With Forgiveness

Give yourself a break.

What is forgiveness?

Seems like a simple question. According to Merriam-Webster, to forgive is to “cease to feel resentment against (an offender).” And for most of my life, that is what I have allowed myself to believe.

Forgiveness is simply the act of letting something go. As I’ve learned over the past couple years, though, to truly forgive someone involves something much deeper and more enlightening than that. It involves trust, one of the most necessary and wholly human emotions that we can feel. It also has a different definition for each person, which defines itself by that individual’s personality and standards.

Forgiveness, for me, is much more intense than simply “letting it go.” Forgiveness can only begin when I allow myself to become vulnerable after a traumatic break in trust, trust that may have been building for a long time. It means making a conscious decision to love and allow for trust again.

But forgiveness for me has not only been between me and others. A lot of my year has comprised of learning how to forgive myself. Easier said than done, right?

People make mistakes. A defining character of humanity is that we are not, nor will we ever be, perfect. I’ve always been the type of person who is hyper-critical of myself, especially in the mistakes I make and how I deal with them. So, when I did screw up, it became harder and harder to forgive myself.

But as I find myself growing as a person, I have also found myself to be more understanding and empathetic to my own feelings. I have found it much more empowering to take my mistakes and turn them into an experience, one that I can learn and grow from.

You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be forgiven, and you deserve to forgive. Allow yourself to take your mistakes and empathize with your own emotions and reasons.

In today’s society, it is easy to get caught up in the stress of attempting to be perfect. It seems that there is such a deep stigma attached to the idea of flaws, thereby forcing us to see mistakes as a reason for ridicule. Instead, see them as a means of growth, learn from it, and move on with your beautiful, blessed life.

Give yourself a damn break, you deserve it.

Cover Image Credit: Lina Trochez

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