Couple of things have happened this morning (already I know) I’m up at 6am all week and my body clock just does not understand weekends, plus I only allow a ‘sleep in’ until 8am anyway so my body doesn’t lose track of when it needs to sleep again. So random self-care tip there for sleep pattern control.
- Found this website about high functioning anxiety and I hit all 12 markers https://goo.gl/1EaG5L
- I re-realised the importance of calm clear regular communication.
It may sound silly or obvious but it is something that often gets shut down by depression and anxiety. Little things, ways of talking, unwanted reminders and a wide variety of other trigger can be left to repeat and fester. Or you can just sit and suffer in silence.
- You don’t want to burden your partner or friends with your problems.
- They won’t understand how you feel.
- They may ridicule you.
- What if it upsets them?
- Maybe if you let it slide you’ll have worked out a way to deal with it before next time.
- What if they become scared of upsetting you and end up feeling like they are on eggshells?
Been there, done that got the t-shirt. But do you know what happens when you do speak up?
- You feel better
- You get support
- You find out that most of your friends feel the same.
- The well meaning behaviour can be adjusted to not trigger you.
You don’t even have to shut down the behaviour entirely just, ask for a reprieve. You’ve opened the communication now and you both know that when you feel better, your less sensitive or over-reactive that you can handle it again, whatever ‘it’ is.
Even a little thing like a partner caring for your health in the wrong mindset can feel like so much pressure, and its not logical or helpful but it just does, doesn’t it? They may have asked you a month ago last how such and such issue is doing, but it feels like it was seconds ago. Brains aren’t rational least of all when your already in a world of pain and darkness (did I mention it can also make you over-dramatic?). When this kind of thing happens, don’t do what I often do and snap some kind of ‘why do you keep asking me?’ take a moment to sit back and think, ask for that moment if they look confused.
Knee jerk reactions are the scourge of anxiety, our brains make a leap to disaster before we’ve even finished listening to the question. It can be hard but taking those moments to think through what you are about to say can make the world of difference.
So I have a husband, we’ve been married just under year, together just under 8. We both have anxiety and depression issues and we both have been on anti-depressants in our lives. Our triggers and reasons are different, and encase you are wondering yes he’ll probably read this at some point. It makes the above so much more important however, in fact even if you are of good health and your partner isn’t this is one of the core parts of keeping your brain level (in my opinion).
You might not have a partner, but that’s what friends are for. If your anxiety or depression means you are low on friends then places like the Blurt Foundation, AnxietyUK or the Samaritans amongst others can be your form of communication. There is no shame in using these facilities if it stops you feeling alone and bottled up.
Back to my point, I know for a fact that when I am low he worries about me much like I always worry about him and what my illness is doing to him. Yes, this can go both ways. I also know due to my personality and the way I deal (or don’t) with my anger can lead to me snapping. For a person who doesn’t have anxiety they may be able to shrug this off, but for us my knee jerk reactions are a trigger. I know that and yet I let it happen, poor self care on my part and a lot of guilt. I’ve learned that when I can’t stop the knee jerk I have to resist my urge to go hide and feel bad about myself. I have to recover my calm with my partner, talk it through and explain the poor reaction. If I don’t then I have just triggered my partner into a bought of anxiety/depression that was completely avoidable and then left them to stew in their own juices.
This can go both ways, for example I have asked if I snap and then run off that my partner goes after me and confronts the issue. This wouldn’t be their natural reaction but it is a backup if my brain is in a bad enough spot that I lose sight of their feelings. We all do it, depression insulates us from the world and turns us in on ourselves. We can lose sight of how our friends and family feel and what we can do to help them. Or there is the opposite reaction where that is all we care about because looking at ourselves is too damn painful.
That leads me back to the start of this blog, self-care. Communication is a good part of that it helps us and people we deal with to look after ourselves. I am not asking anyone to become heartless and stop looking after their friends, but we always have to remember to look after ourselves too and realise that real friends and good family will understand.
The old adage, if they don’t understand then you don’t need them in your life, comes to mind.