The Beauty in the Sadness

Updated on July 27, 2017

The Struggle Is Unreal

"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

How Do You Deal When All Seems Amiss?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost

Everything is easier said than done when it applies to mental health, specifically anxiety and depression. Both frolic hand-in-hand leaving their hooved-prints in the grooves of our noggins while they poke and prod our brains, making our commonplace lives a living hell; and sometimes, just sometimes, your brain starts warping your perceptions of yourself and the world into something it's totally not. Somedays, we may fabricate these ideas that the world thinks the worst of us. Other days, the sadness is relentless and weighs heavy on its victims without explanation. Even worse is being paralyzed by anxiety and having to find a "safe place" to calm yourself. You literally can't move. You have to remind yourself to breathe as if all of a sudden breathing isn't an autonomous function anymore. Out of toilet paper or deodorant? Leaving the house is not an option, so just grab the paper towels by your kitchen sink and deal with it. It's not worth having to weave through the masses of humans at the grocery store when they're all glaring and judging you. Your jaw clamps, your heart pounds, and you wonder what the hell you did to deserve this. This, my friends, is the mind of a manic-depressive individual, heavily peppered with intrusive thoughts and an anxiety disorder. But rest assured that you and I are not alone: there is comfort in the mental-mayhem.

"You say that I'm paranoid, but I'm pretty sure the world is out to get me. It's not like I made the choice to let my mind stay so f****** messy...." - Kiiara

There's an old saying, one I'd heard many times before when I was a young girl and, boy, do I hear it now more than ever! I was finally able to understand the mentality that had kept me in the dark for so long in my earlier years: "Crazy people don't know they're going crazy, they're under the impression they're getting better." That being said, one can find solace in the thought of dementia or a sort of naivety (I know this is a sensitive subject) in mitigating the sadness. I think a lot about the "what ifs" in my situation. What if I didn't know I had depression or what depression was? Would my quality of life be better? And sometimes I straight out wish I had short-term memory loss so I could forget all the pain. I won't lie - I've pondered it long and hard. As someone who's suffered from anxiety and depression since the age of 10, I often think about the future and what's to become of me (because that's what anxiety does to us, right?!).

Sweet Surrender

The mastery of masking mental illness.
The mastery of masking mental illness.

You vs You

So how does one silence the mind and calm the body? Why is mental health so taboo in today's society? Why, in our right (or crazy minds for that matter), are we AFRAID to ask for help or advice? We've weighed down today's mental health issues with shame, and a surprising amount is inherent or learned at a very young age. Thirty-three years later and I still haven't disclosed to my parents or family that I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety. If there had to be a positive take on my mental health, it'd be that this illness has made me an exceptional liar (no ill-intentions here). Thanks to certain medications, I can function for the most part and perform my job as an insurance representative. I'm very private about my mental state, so when I do divulge my mental health, people's reactions are typically the same: "I would have never guessed!" or "But you're always smiling"; and the all-too-familiar, "Ohh, it'll pass. It's just a phase." Yes, you're right, because phases last 30-some years. Simply put, it's difficult to talk about and harder for the other person to understand. Acceptance, however, plays a key role in the lifelong process of healing. How so? You stop fighting yourself. You learn to love your uniqueness and rather than seeing your mental illness as a handicap, you see it as a gift. You're different, you think differently, and that in itself is the very reason to love yourself.

Coping: The Calm After the Storm

You read correctly: the calm after the (anxiety) storm. We all know there's nothing soothing or calming that prefaces an anxiety attack. All we know is that it's coming and that we have to brace ourselves for it (i.e. hiding, going to our "safe-place", and/or coping mechanisms to name a few). I've acquired quite the collection of books, all of which address anxiety. We all deal with our episodes differently, but I have found that Mindfulness has yielded the best results. When you feel an anxiety/panic attack coming on, keep these practices in mind (again, easier said than done):

  • Remember to breathe; when in panic mode, we tend to take short breaths, often making matters worse. Deep belly-breathing helps tremendously and also reduces the acidity in your blood.
  • Be mindful of the current state you are in. Don't distract yourself or re-direct your attention; rather, focus on the thought(s) and let it be. Let it engulf you while continuing to take deep mindful breaths. This is part of the acceptance process
  • Write, write, write! Even if it's a random sketch or random words strewn together that make no sense, just write. Writing has long been known to be therapeutic, and I say this from experience as an English, Writing, & Rhetoric major.
  • Meditation. This one's a doozy and takes practice and patience. The art of meditating alone and self-conversing can be frightening at first, but after some time it becomes a part of you and you'll find that meditating is a necessity in your everyday life.
  • Love yourself. It's complicated to be gentle or kind to yourself when you're at war with yourself. There's a lot of self-blame, self-shame, and self-hatred at first; but if you allow yourself, you can offer yourself happiness and love.

You are NOT your illness.
You are NOT your illness.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Christina de Anda profile imageAUTHOR

      Christina de Anda 

      14 months ago from Austin

      Thank you for reading, Janean! :)

    • JaneanOverman profile image

      Janean Overman 

      15 months ago from Virginia

      Very insightful. Thank you for sharing.

    • Christina de Anda profile imageAUTHOR

      Christina de Anda 

      15 months ago from Austin

      Thank you both for the kind words - much appreciated!

    • profile image

      Dwight 

      15 months ago

      Beautifully written and thorough in subject matter!

    • profile image

      Holly 

      15 months ago

      This is an impeccable article. The sense of not feeling alone in my minds battle is relieving. The wisdom shared is to be cherished and remembered. Thank you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)