This week, I engaged in a knock down, drag out fight – I did my best to avoid it, to take a different route for the week but the damn bully would NOT let up. She was relentless…using her strength and intimidation tactics to force her agenda on me. Everywhere I ran – she was there – backing me into a corner and daring me to fight back. Finally, with a little help – I took a couple jabs until I finally landed a punch that knocked her on her ass.
The bully’s name is Michelle Mercier – more accurately stated…its my depression and anxiety.
I knew this week was going to be hard because it involved a ton of change. My youngest son started daycare, I started as a full time entrepreneur, routines were uprooted, etc. My anxiety kicked up on Monday night. That feeling in my chest when I can’t breath and things begin to swirl around me. My first reaction was to control – I know this doesn’t work but out of habit I try. If I could just slow the spinning…catch it mid spin….but nothing can slow it by this point.
The anxiety attack hit hard. By this point, I’m self aware enough to know that it needs to just run its course. I equate it to my 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum – I need to view it from a place of compassion and eventually it will stop. The crying, the shaking, the overwhelming urge to run, escape whatever is around you….will eventually stop and all will be quiet.
Except this week – the anxiety didn’t fully stop but went into a week long hum. It was there from the moment I woke up and it brought along its high maintenance friend, depression. The silence in my house was deafening and these bullies saw the opening as a time to interject. I began questioning every decision I’d made. Here’s a snapshot of what JUST 2 minutes in my brain sounds like when anxiety and depression are in the drivers seat.
Seriously, you put your son in daycare…What the hell is wrong with you…Can’t you handle him at home…Who do you think you are starting a business…Who the fuck is going to listen to you…You’re fat – you look like crap….You need to take better care of your family…you’re being selfish…GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER…..repeat.
All week – I’ve tried my old coping mechanisms expecting different results (Definition of Insanity!!!!).
Tuesday – I let my thoughts self sabotage and get in the way of creating. I got busy with errands and excuses.
Wednesday -I dove into work….launched a new website and project. I worked until almost midnight, pushing through and avoiding my inner dialogue.
Thursday– I crashed. The good thing is I acknowledged that I had used avoidance to not deal with my stuff. The downfall…I was exhausted. I puttered through the morning with zero motivation. During the afternoon, I let the dialogue run wild in my head and gave into the depression.
Friday – I got a note in my inbox. Years ago – I had signed up to have an inspirational email sent daily by TUT – it stands for “The Universe Talking”. I hadn’t paid attention to them in a really long time and for some reason I opened today’s.
Always, Michelle, when you just don’t know what you want, want happiness; and when you just don’t know what to do, do anything.
I read this and something inside me starting screaming: Just do something….anything positive…take a damn step towards happiness.
The bully had been allowed to set the agenda for too many days this week. Today would be different – today, I’m landing a punch or two.
I choose to focus on doing something, anything instead of being paralyzed by anxiety and depression. I will approach this day – in small actions towards happiness. They don’t need to be planned out or managed but they do need to be taken.
So now I’m paying it forward. I’m hoping if one of you needs this message – it will find its way to you. You can land a punch against your inner bully – you can choose to not be paralyzed by anxiety/depression. Just remember – “when you don’t know what to do, do anything.” Take that step towards happiness and rejoice in that action no matter how big or small.