Using my favorite therapy skill, “Changing your perspective,” again, I have noticed that I was able to get over a large part of my anxiety by taking away some of its negativity. Anxiety now motivates me and it is possible for everyone. Adventure helps me and this is because I have depression. Going out and living an adventure helps me feel something. It helps me feel the adventure and also helps me feel even more because going on an adventure is hard when you’re either depressed or anxious. But I can’t always just drop everything and go on an adventure can I? But I have anxiety, so I can always, most days, have something to be scared of. So turn this need to go on an adventure into fighting your anxiety. Even when I have depression and can’t feel something, I have moments of feeling anxious until the moment passes and then I go on to feeling nothing. But even in times when I am just anxious without having a pressing need to feel something, I can always use this anxiety adventure to love myself for fighting it. And no matter how I feel, I always love an adventure, so channel your anxiety and turn it into a mountain to climb even if you’re just shaking someone’s hand while looking them in the eyes. The other day something happened that gave me a lot of anxiety and would normally send me into a dwelling state. But instead I decided to find some other thoughts that are true as opposed to the catastrophizing thoughts my dwelling mind gives to me…and the true thoughts are thoughts of my own strength. Surviving the moment gives you strength that you cannot deny, dwelling gives you thoughts that always wander from the facts into fiction of weakness.
I am not supposed to use the word “should” but I am going to for just a second. You should never think of your slips and negative moments as anything other than a miracle. The reason for this is because it gets you to stand back up. Like myself, you may feel ashamed of any of your past issues, but how good would you really feel about yourself if you were always doing well your whole entire life? You might think you would feel pretty awesome if you were always doing well but change your perspective a little. And I know it doesn’t always seem like it, but this goes for everyone. Everyone has tough times…even that person you consider to be flawless. Healing goes up and down and that is a beautiful thing because it leads to a feeling of accomplishment and self esteem. I used to be afraid of talking on the phone. I was envious of my friends who were able to talk on the phone like it was nothing. I managed to get over that fear and every time I talk on the phone I feel accomplished and happy with myself. I am not weaker because I wasn’t born able to talk on the phone, it was a miracle that made me start from the bottom and work my way up. If we all were perfect and did everything without fear, anxiety or any other negative emotion, we would have no area for improvement. Think of it this way. What aspect of yourself do you possess right now that you had to fight for? Doesn’t it feel amazing to think about the past when you were not the same person? No one on this planet is perfect. That’s a miracle. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a miracle because you don’t have to be constantly thinking of those perfect people with their perfect lives. You’re probably thinking it’s a miracle because you don’t have to live in their shadow. But the miracle is not that no one else is perfect. The miracle is that YOU are not perfect. Perfection would mean no room for improvement so no sense of accomplishment. No self-esteem built up from your hard work through anxiety and fear. A perfect world would be boring and probably depressing. So thank the stars and the moon that no one is perfect but only because you are not either.
The first one is self as context. This means that you are not truly one thing. You don’t have to mold yourself into what you believe you are or have to be. It makes labels not make sense. Sometimes I am shy, sometimes I am outgoing. I cannot label myself as either one because every moment and every experience calls for something different. (This skill took me awhile to understand, so if I am wrong on this skill, feel free to correct me).
Then I love mindfulness. This one started as boring for me and then turned into something I use almost everyday. This is where you make sure you are aware of your surroundings. This helps immensely with anxiety. You occupy your mind while you tell yourself to look for certain colors around the room. Or you just sit outside looking at nature and make sure you notice and feel every single wonderful thing.
Building mastery. This is when you learn new things in order to gain self-esteem or a sense of accomplishment. This one is obviously self explanatory and if you are learning something new, you are already using this skill. However, this is something you need to keep in mind if you are in a rut and feel you need something to get yourself out.
I talk about changing your perspective all the time in this blog so it’s only appropriate that I share it here. This skill is when you take something you dislike about yourself and then you change it into something positive. This is what I try to do with this blog. Share the wonderfulness that I see in every aspect of all everyone can be. Tall or short? You can love yourself if you are either. It makes sense. Two people who are completely the opposite physically or mentally both have the option to love themselves; both have the capacity to be confident. You cannot look at someone and say with fact, “That person has got to be confident.” Just like you cannot look at someone and also say with fact, “That person has got to be insecure.” There is no universal type of person who is the epitome of confidence. That is saved for someone who is just actually incredibly confident no matter who they are. Every single person on this planet has the power inside of them for self-love. Which means your insecurities are not true. If confidence about some aspect of yourself is not inside of you but is inside of someone else just like you, you can find it too. And every category of person has many people who are confident in that aspect of themselves.
And then there is opposite to emotion. I use this a lot when I cross the street oddly enough. I hate crossing the street at cross walks if there are cars. “What if they wave me on but I can’t see them through the glare in their window and I just stand there awkwardly?” “What if I think they let me go first but then they begin to drive as I start crossing and I have to jump back with embarrassment?” “I’m almost to a cross walk and there’s a car coming. Maybe I should stop and look at my phone and act like I’m too busy to cross the street until that car is gone.” … “No, I better just be strong and cross the street with that car. I’ll feel so much stronger when it’s over.” So yes, I often do cross the street especially when I don’t want to. It’s an incredible feeling, even crossing the street, to defy your fears.
This ideal just came to me recently. When I was a teenager and my cousins slept over, they would always be up at around six am, while I couldn’t get up until around nine. I cannot get up in the morning without an immense amount of trouble. I like working nights because I don’t have to wake up. I hate mornings. Let’s just put it that way. But when you sleep in, this is an easy recipe for self-loathing. “I’m lazy.” “If everyone else wakes up that early I should be able to too.” Well, a few days ago I was finally okay with myself for the times when I do sleep in. I’m a night owl. And there are reasons why I am. I like the darkness, I like driving around at night. I like walking at night. I like staying up late. I love being a night owl because I love the night. I can know why I love being a night owl in my own love of the darkness. I hear the crickets of the night and I love them, so I love the fact that I will stay up late to listen to them. And then, being a night owl leads to the inevitable…I am not an early bird. We can also just switch all of my ideals onto an early bird. You know why you love the morning, maybe it’s the birds chirping or the idea of a whole day ahead of you. And because you know exactly why you love the mornings, you can love your early bird self for being able to see that beauty in the dawn. So back to my point. Be a night owl and sleep in. Don’t consider yourself lazy. You just love the moon, the crickets, the stars, the glow under the streetlights. You feel happiness when you look out into the night, and that happiness is why you sleep in. When you wake up and look at the clock and it’s noon and the sun is already streaming onto your face, think about the reasons. You love the moon more than the sun and that’s perfectly okay. And if anyone tries to tell you, you are lazy for sleeping in, go ahead and just tell them that you love the stars. If anyone tries to tell you, you are lazy for going to bed early, tell them you love the sunshine.
When I was getting ready to go to college I was depressed and didn’t care at all about my future. Now I am so excited for my future that I got depressed about having a major I don’t like, but have channeled my excitement and turned my excitement on my major and found the beauty in it. My major is marketing and I always wanted to do things with animals. I wanted to be a marine biologist and I was going to go to college for that but I ended up being so depressed I literally just clicked a major and went on with my life. I knew nothing of marketing. I didn’t care that I wasn’t interested, because I wasn’t interested in anything. So instead of sulking about my major I decided to channel it. Here are the reasons why I found marketing to be a great major. If you have chosen something you regret, you can find a way to love it.
- The potential to have a job in a “the office” type setting-Being so close to others and being able to have strange work relationships like from the show the office. (Yes this show is actually possible-I have these kinds of relationships at my current job but I’d like it to stay that way in a new job. Plus, in an office setting I’ll be able to enjoy it more because the job I have now is very physically demanding and it makes me too tired to care as much as I could about how funny my co-workers are)
- Being an artist/scientist-I need to be creative to grab people’s attention while finding out what will grab their attention.
- Honestly, I see so much beauty in the business type. Dressing in business clothes, being strong and getting things done. The problem for me is that I’m not the business type. I can only pretend to be the business-type but then I’ll feel like a fraud next to these amazing people. If you are a businessman or woman, you can love yourself so much because of how impressive you are. Going to interviews and working your way up and giving presentations is incredibly hard. Yesterday I almost didn’t apply for a job because they said you need to be ok with presentations. That has always been my worst fear. Well, I thought to myself, “If I want to be as amazing as I view actual business people, I need to apply to this job and fight through my fear of presentations.”
- I also like the idea of a cute little cubicle.
I used to be ashamed of going to therapy like I believe a lot of people are, but now I am so extremely grateful for everything that I have learned. And this is not only because it helped me live a better life and everything therapy does for an individual…but because of going to therapy itself…I love myself for it. When most people think of going to therapy, they don’t think of going to therapy for the experience or think of going about and telling everyone how much they love themselves just for the act of going to therapy rather than the outcome itself. Many people just go to therapy for the outcome, which I obviously understand. But for me I finally found the beauty in the act of going to therapy rather than just the outcome. You can love what your soul became when you emerged from therapy but you can also love that fact that you went even if you aren’t completely cured from your ailments. You don’t have to look at your recovered self in your actions and wish, “I wish I was born this way,” or “I wish I could have gotten well on my own.” You can be okay with needing help and the things you learned along the way. Finding this kind of intelligence about mental health through my treatment and therapy journey has made things so much clearer in my head. I believe that therapy showed me my intelligence. Without being born with mental health struggles, I wouldn’t have wanted to learn about my brain. But I was forced to learn about it when my mental health deteriorated. I feel that I learned so much that I can speak intelligently about my own experiences, how I got well and can now see clearly what I believe is right and wrong. I know a lot about the brain and therapy skills now that I can speak of them with intelligence and say how much it worked because of how far gone I was in my eating disorder and managed to bounce back. Going to therapy I didn’t just learn to begin getting better, I learned like a student how to use my own opinions on the world and be able to express them and add my newfound therapy intelligence to my opinions. So be okay with yourself just for going to therapy every time you enter that room even if you still have negative thoughts every single day. Even if I was still trapped in my brain right now, I would be happy with what I have learned, even if I don’t have a desire to go to school to be a therapist.
Because it was national siblings day, I decided to talk about something I always hated about myself…being an only child. It was rare and everyone seemed so happy with their siblings (even though they fought, I thought that was better than being an only child). But now that I have gotten older, I have found ways to love it. One of them being one of the reasons why I hated it…it is rare. We are a rare breed. I look at people now who are only children in a different way I looked at them when I was younger. I used to think, “finally, someone to share my pain,” but now I think of it as beautifully unique. This thought in itself makes me okay with it all. This also means that the roommates I have had over the years have been like an adventure because I’ve never shared a room with anyone until then. There really should be a national only children day for the only children and a way to speak about the stereotypes. I don’t think this makes you lonely. I think it makes you okay with being alone. I love being alone with just me and my dog, and I believe being without siblings prepared me for this. So are you an only child? You are beautifully unique. Thank you to the other only children posts on the internet that helped me see this.