My life is awesome. Really, truly, amazingly fantastic. And if you could hear me saying these words, you’d hear they’re not words of gratitude (though I am SO grateful). Right now, they’re words ringing with defiance. Because at the moment, nothing feels very awesome or fantastic. I know that it is. And that knowledge is a big part of what keeps me going at times like this.
If you know me well or have been following me online long, you’re probably aware I struggle with mental health from time to time. I’ve already talked about depression a bit on this blog, but I also deal with anxiety. In fact, as of late, anxiety has wrestled its way to the top of the heap when it comes to trying to trick me into thinking everything sucks.
Everything does not suck.
At this very moment, I may be scared of pretty much everything. I might be convinced it’s never going to get any better. I’m in an emotional equivalent of a cavern where there’s light outside, but none of it is shining on me.
But you know what? That cave isn’t a thing. It’s a feeling. And feelings change. I might not be able to bring to mind the joy I felt the last time I won a game of Settlers of Catan*, but I know it was there. I did feel it. I can’t quite call up the overwhelming glee of kicking the ass of almost half a dozen panels (all of which I moderated) at Chicago TARDIS, but I know I was riding really high that weekend. I can’t even remember (in any real way) the warm fuzzy contentedness of snuggling with Steven on the couch a few weeks ago. But I know it was there. I experienced all those things.
And before all those great things, I experienced a buncha other lousy times I thought I’d never get past. But hey! I did! So history and experience tell me this is a passing thing. And passing things pass. That’s why they call them “passing things”. Yes, this may be the worst bout yet,** but that doesn’t mean it automatically gets to win. It might mean it takes a little longer to get out the other side, but I’m not going to start to believe there is no other side. It’s there. I know it in my head, even if I can’t feel it in my heart.
In addition to an amazing support network of friends, family, and twitter peeps, I’ve also got some good coping mechanisms. One is jigsaw puzzles. Few things feel better to my brain than taking a huge*** mess of pieces and putting them together just-so until I’ve created something orderly and beautiful. I have several waiting for me at home, and I’m going to crack into one of them tonight.
Another thing that works like salve to my anxious brain? Doggerel. So I shall leave you with this:
Is bugging me.
It wants to be
In charge of me
Though I’m at sea,
I still can see
I don’t agree.
It’s really me
Who gets to be
In charge of me,
And not anxiety.
*Possibly because I almost never win that game. I should have said Yahtzee. I win at that much more often. <3 dice!
**None of my previous bouts ended me in Urgent Care with tachycardia for most of a day. :/
***I mean HUGE. Anything fewer than 2,000 pieces seems silly. My favorite puzzle (sadly left behind in the States because it was too big to ship for a reasonable sum) is 6,000 pieces. It’s about 3 and a half feet by 5 and a half feet. It’s an old-world map, and it’s GLORIOUS. (Yes, that’s what’s pictured above.)