Ways I Actually, Really Dealt With my Anxiety and Depression
100% not a recommendation, just a story
- •Gave the chemicals in my brain some time to readjust by taking a much lighter class schedule and living with familyThis was, in some ways, a mistake. What I needed to do to take care of my body vs. what I felt doing when I had more free time were often opposing things. But in other ways, I'm glad I took a step back, did things with less serious consequences, and learned what not to do during a depressive episode through practice.
- •Committed to eating before anything elseFor me, this was super hard. I had to put my budget, my body image, my stress control and disordered eating habits on hold all at once to start eating when I was hungry. It took a therapist, a mini fridge, and a super nice boyfriend to talk me through.
- •Took a creative writing classI wrote a novel in a semester. I learned that when I had such a high word count goal every day, I had to be in top mental and physical condition to get it out—like my very lame version of being an athlete. The room couldn't be too cold. I had to be eating well, have had enough sleep the night before, and I couldn't be too angry or distracted.
- •Moved (again)Shared a room with my sister. Decorated a new space. Reconnected with people in high school who didn't expect me to be reserved or depressed, because that wasn't the way they remembered me.
- •Got involved at my churchVolunteered to clean the chapel and serve at the food kitchen. Introduced myself to people. Brought a notebook with me on Sundays. Started to look for improvement, comfort, and love before nitpicking, anxiety or comparison.
- •Applied for a job I thought I was super under qualified forI was shocked that I was hired. They expected a lot of me, and I went from watching Buffy on my laptop at 4 AM to coming into work at 9 every morning (I'm sure there's a way to do both but I haven't figured it out yet). I had to buy a whole new wardrobe.
- •Decided against medicationThere were therapists and psychiatrists involved in this whole shebang. But for me, medication was never the right choice at the right time.
- •Stopped being somebody's girlfriendStopped looking for reasons to debate. Stopped coming home as late. Stopped taking cool people for granted. Started planning ahead for the day, watching less Netflix and engaging in non-confrontational conversations. Started to say yes when people asked me to hang out.
- •Stopped allowing myself to find a private space when I felt a wave of anxietyMore often than not, this helps me control it.
- •Became the host of a weekly Bachelorette watch partyThis one might sound stupid, but it might have been the most useful one. I met new people and started making real plans. I gave other people advice and I listened to other people's opinions. I started making food. I started investing in other people. It was awesome.