My genetics have predisposed me to mental issues. It's not so serious. There's medication available when it's bad. There's counseling. It's never been so debilitating I can't go to work (well, except maybe when I was pregnant with S... that was a tough time). We all have "stinkin' thinkin'" from time to time, but this past winter I felt like I was going nuts! It's obvious I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. So when I don't get enough sunshine I feel the loss of happy chemicals and get really, really down. Also, feelings of anxiety spike. It's a double whammy. I beat this monster while living in NC by exercising regularly. But this past winter, I did not have the lovely YMCA to go to living in MD, so I didn't have an outlet. Plus I was commuting to work with the kids in the car and was very stressed with teaching and it all culminated one week and I knew I couldn't ignore the symptoms. It was bad. I couldn't ride in the car with anyone, not even Will, who I've never had a problem riding with. I would get terrible anxiety attacks as a passenger. One week I had an anxiety attack while I was driving the girls to school in the morning. Then I had it again the next morning. I felt I just couldn't do another drive to school with them. I made a doctor's appointment and knowing I would soon get treatment got me through that week. I got on Zoloft--sertraline, actually, the generic, and it really took the edge off my anxiety. I had hoped to get off the drug once I moved and school was out, but if I go 4 days without taking it I start feeling anxiety again. The eating is going well. The days are lovely spent with my kids. But, for whatever reason, the anxiety comes back if I don't take my drug. And I hate that. What is wrong? Is it out of my control? Is it a chemical thing that can only be corrected with sertraline? No, I don't believe that. I am ready to try something different. One component that is missing is exercise. I'm looking forward to joining the Y next month. But there's more. Apparently certain vitamins taken in high doses can fight depression. And cashews are supposedly very good for it as well. The summer is here and I'm making sure to get plenty of sunshine (without getting burnt). I eat breakfast on my front porch every morning. It's lovely! I know I'm on a healing journey. It's always a journey without a destination. Well, maybe the destination is reached daily. If I can enjoy and appreciate life daily then I'm living well and healing my body and mind each day. When are we actually healthy? Doctors have always considered me healthy even when I knew I wasn't. Cholesterol is good, so why worry about anything else? Well, when you feel like crap much of the time, that's not health. When you feel an afternoon nap is necessary even after a night of 9+ hours of sleep, that's not health. I'm definitely not UNhealthy, but it's always work to be healthy. And the anxiety I continue to feel from time to time is not healthy. However, I'm going to use a tip I got from Kris Carr and take this anxiety and send it to the light. If I feel nervous in the car later today while my husband is driving, I'll think about the accident I'm picturing in my mind and push that little image to the light. It's a meditative thing of which I do not do enough.
Update: It worked. I had a few moments where I felt anxiety about traffic, but I pushed those thoughts to the light and felt better. Overall, it was a great drive. In the past I would think "The only way I'll feel better is if I'm driving." But if I think that then I can't relax, because I'm NOT driving.