Embracing The Fear

Hello readers! First off, to my fellow bloggers: do you ever have those moments where you try to figure out what exactly to talk about? Some days, I'll have a thousand different post ideas, and then other days, I'll draw a blank on a topic post. As I was about to give up, I thought of something that was discussed in my therapy session last week.

If you haven't seen my last post (which was my very first audio post), you can check it out here! As I discussed in that post, I'm currently seeing a professional therapist for some things I'm dealing with, past and present. I've only been seeing my therapist for three weeks, and it's helped a ton, but I'm still struggling (doesn't mean therapy doesn't help, just means it'll be a long journey until I see results). The last I spoke to my therapist, she brought up something that I thought would be useful for you all: being okay with being uncomfortable.

I've mentioned it many times, but I struggle with depression and anxiety, however, the anxiety is more powerful than the depression. As I'm sure many people who struggle with anxiety do, there are certain things I avoid doing so I won't feel anxious or uncomfortable. For example, for years, I struggled with phone phobia or phone anxiety. I would do anything to not make a phone call or even speak on the phone (my only exception to this rule was family members). If I had to contact a place to make an appointment or make a complaints, I'd look for alternative ways to reach them (my personal favorite being email).

Now, although avoiding the phone as much as possible can keep my anxiety at ease, I can't live like that forever. When we touched on (not the phone phobia exactly) this topic, my therapist told me:

When we do things to avoid something or have control to not be anxious, it’s giving our anxiety a bigger power

When she said that, I thought about how she was right. By doing things a certain way to avoid feeling uncomfortable, or to do something in a way to control the fear, I was giving the anxiety more control of my life. Do I really want to live my life in a way where fear overpowers me? Now, I'm sure you're expecting me to share tips on how to be okay with feeling uncomfortable when it comes to anxiety, and I would love to share, however...I'm still learning all about this. 

I noticed recently, when I feel uncomfortable with anxiety, I lay down and take a nap, or call it a night and go to bed early. For me, I feel like if I'm sleeping, I won't have to think about the anxiety. Does this form of coping help? For me, it does for the moment, but it doesn't solve my problems. What I have been doing, however, when I feel uncomfortable, is telling myself, 'I know I feel uncomfortable with this, I know I wanna do everything in my power to avoid it or stop it, but it's okay.' We have to tell ourselves that although we don't feel comfortable, it's okay.

Now, let's go back to the phone phobia example for this. Do I still hate talking on the phone? Of course, I'd much rather email or any form of writing when it doesn't involved speaking on the phone, but by avoiding the phone, I let the fear overcome and become stronger. Luckily with my new job, I've been using the phone a lot to speak to companies, reps, you name it. So I decided to conquer my fear by doing something: calling to make appointments. I made an appointment, and the person I spoke to wasn't very happy, which made me uncomfortable, but I felt ten times better after making the call! 

I also decided to call my insurance company. Because of my fear, I was this close to making my mom call for me and have her pretend to be me, but I told myself, 'it would be much faster if I did the call'; so I did! Now there's other things in my life that I've let fear have control of, but the phone phobia is a very common example I'm sure a few of my readers can relate to. I honestly wish I had tips to share on how to overcome this, but it's something I'm still working on. The only thing I can say is...it's okay to feel uncomfortable. I'm slowly trying to see the anxiety and depression as family members. They're related to me, so they won't go away, but I gotta do, in a healthy manner, what I can to maintain living with them. 

Having depression is a struggle, dealing with anxiety is worse, but they're a part of me. I know those parts of my life need love and care as much as the parts of me when I'm happy and full of life. The depression and anxiety may want to portray themselves as my enemy and try to hurt me, but they're parts of me that just need love. Now don't get me wrong, I can't stand the moments I feel dark and sad (thanks, depression), and I definitely can't stand when I'm on the edge and freaking out about my every move (thanks, anxiety). Although I can't stand those moments, once they come and go, I'm back to feeling like myself. Once depression and anxiety realize it can't hurt me, I go back to feeling happy, hopeful, and filled with energy. 

If there's one thing I want you all to take from this, it's that your mental health isn't the enemy, and it's okay to not feel okay. That depression, anxiety, or whatever mental health you deal with, is just that annoying sibling of yours that just wants to get under your skin and ruin your day (because they're not getting what they want). Sure it's annoying, sure it's a pain, but remind yourself that this too shall pass. If it doesn't pass today, look forward to tomorrow. Don't give up. I'm proud of you, don't let the anxiety or depression get to you, for you are stronger than it. 

As always, thank you so much for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and subscribing!