It’s been over 3 and a half years since I’ve been on antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. I take that as a win. I’ve been pretty well, really. Being in full time employment has helped heaps with that. On days when I’ve woken up and felt like crap and felt like hurting myself (old habits die hard), I’ve just forced myself to go to work and by the end of the day the feeling has gone because I’ve been hanging with funny people and had my mind focused on others instead of myself. I’ve had a reason to get up in the morning, so it has gotten easier and easier. Trust me. I’ve had fewer and fewer of those days as the years have gone by.
I also try to be mindful of what I’m thinking. If I’ve had a weird day, I often find myself pulling it apart at the end of the day. What was I thinking about? What did I tell myself at the time? What triggered that response? How could I have responded better to that? Sometimes I will have the littlest social gaffe, and I find myself in the bathroom crying, telling myself I’m useless and broken. That’s always a bad idea. It takes me ages to calm back down again from an incident like that.
But I always make sure I try and learn something from the experience. I think that’s just my personality. I’m always trying to better myself. That can be a curse too, because I don’t stop to celebrate the little victories. I know I’m getting better though. It is possible to change those little negative inner voices. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of practice, but it can be done. For me, I had to start identifying the lies that I believed about myself. Obviously, I had the help of a counselor to identify these things, otherwise how would I know? Then I had to write down the truth about myself. I believed I was ugly, so I had to write the truth, which is that I am actually beautiful. God doesn’t make ugly things. It’s just insulting otherwise. So, I would write these truths down in a notebook, and every day I read them out loud to myself. When I first started, I would roll my eyes at reading them, because I didn’t believe them yet. After a while of doing this, speaking out the words started to take hold in my mind. I actually started to live out these truths. This is when I started taking selfies for the first time ever. I started celebrating me. Because I had learnt that it didn’t mean I was up myself.
It meant I appreciated someone else’s art.