Some of you may know Rachel Wilkerson. If not, you should. I consider her to be my social media guru. She writes a terrific blog (www.rachelwilkerson.com) and knows her stuff across the board.
She’s always sharing some great healthy living tips with a twist. I personally practice her First Rule:
What Rachel really means is knowing the difference between “good ridiculous” and “bad ridiculous”. Kind of like the difference between “good crazy” and “bad crazy”. Totally me, right?
This week, Rachel presented her Fourth Rule:
She challenged her readers to stop feeling so guilty about the decisions they make and to just own them – no further discussion needed. Rachel said, “If you’re sick of feeling guilty and ready to own it, remember this: tell people what you want, what you’re doing, what you need. Don’t ask for permission or advice.”
This got me thinking about the things that I need to own up to owning. Instead, I realized the things that I need to own up to are actually owning me.
If you asked me what this blog is all about, I would describe Poise in Parma as a healthy living blog where you would find my ramblings on my search for balance in life, job, blog and dog. The key words in that description in my opinion are “healthy” and “balance”. Ultimately, the combination of those two words is what I am seeking in life. That is what has inspired my mantra for 2010: “Be Happy. Be Healthy. Just Be.”
So I write about seeking balance while enjoying my adventures in here Cleveland. I DO OWN that I love this town, no matter how much hell I get for never leaving. Yes, I still live in Parma. Yes, we sometimes wear white socks with black shoes. Yes, we like pink flamingos and eat a lot of pierogies. But it’s home and it’s mine. It’s not just the concept of “grow where you are planted” – I want to FLOURISH. But unfortunately, I’ve let something get in my way of this.
Since 2009, I have struggled with depression and anxiety disorders.
It’s important to note that depression and anxiety are not the same. I once read (pretty sure it was in Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God) that depression is stemmed from the guilt of past wrongs while anxiety stems from worry about future happenings.
This all might come as a surprise to some of you, as I try to keep the majority of the posts on the blog pretty light-hearted and positive in nature. I play the happy hostess, the uber-organized event planner, the “perfect” first child – but at the end of the day, the emotions of hopelessness, guilt and fear overwhelm me.
When the depression sets in, my energy levels are low: I don’t want to make dinner for Hans, I don’t want to go for a walk with Grady, I don’t want to work out and I don’t want to leave the couch. I just want to be left alone.
And then around 10PM, the depression switches to anxiety: I stress about work, family, friends, the house, the bills, etc. All this stressing leads to poor sleep patterns that only lead to more anxiety about not getting enough sleep. I wake up every 45 minutes throughout the night. I can’t remember the last night I slept a solid, uninterrupted eight hours.
I started to seek professional help in the fall of 2009. Now in August 2010, I am now on my third therapist and finally feel that I have the right relationship to get me back to health. Unfortunately, many of my coping mechanisms still plague me in my recovery. While I’m not ready to share those with you at this time, it’s a day-to-day and night-to-night struggle that has consumed me.
This struggle with depression and anxiety compromises how I live my life every single day: how I function at work, how I maintain personal relationships, and how I achieve my life goals. And as Twisted Sister sang back in 1984 – I’m not gonna take it anymore.
I am DONE letting these disorders own me. Instead, I am ready to declare:
I am ready to own the following:
- Yes, I am battling depression and anxiety. I own this.
- Yes, I take anxiety medications as needed on an episodic basis. I own this.
- Yes, I have tried prescription sleeping meds. (They haven’t worked, yet.) I own this.
- Yes, I’ve spent many hours in a therapist chair. I own this.
- Yes, I use various coping mechanisms to avoid my feelings. I own this.
But the most important thing for me to own in this moment – in the words of my #GoldenGirl Meredith:
I AM EPIC AND SO IS MY LIFE.
I will not let my depression and anxiety own me any longer. No more days following on my family room couch. No more nights filled with restless sleep. No more morning panic attacks. Life is too short to wallow around and let everything pass you by. I’m being ridiculous – in the bad way – by succumbing to this for so long.
I want to live again. I am ready to own my life again. Give me the deed – I’m ready to sign. To Shawshank it up: “Get busy livin’ or get busy dying.” The first option is SO much better than the latter.