Anxiety and Depression Support
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Feel like I fell down the well

With anxiety and depression I have good days and bad days. I don't know if my issues are telling me something, but they need to coordinate their agenda with the rest of my world.

I woke up this morning with high anxiety and depressed, I did not feel like getting up. This is the part where my illness and world collide. I did get up, a little late. and I made it into the office. Traffic sucked because I was running late and my head feels like a brick. If I had chosen to stay home things would be easier for me, but worse for my world. I push through these things every once in a while and It has always worked out, but it is like pushing a rope.

This is the part of mental illness that I find both confusing and interesting. What changed? Is there something in my diet that brings me down, is it weather related? I know that I can't fix things when I don't know what is wrong. I guess this is why acceptance is so important to me. I accept that I don't know what is wrong, maybe nothing. I accept that I am feeling down. I accept that it probably won't last. I even accept that some things won't get done.

The last one, things not getting done, is the hardest. That seems to be the issue that works against me the most. I don't get things done and the guilt and pressure builds, two things that contribute further to my issues. That's the viscous circle.

I think my only good exit from the circle is communication. I have to let those around me know how I am feeling, and that some things just are not going to get done. I still feel bad about feeling bad, but it will pass.

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One thing that really helps me (when I actually do it) is to make a list of three things I would like to accomplish or work toward, and give myself permission to check each item as a "mission accomplished success," even if I have only worked on it for 15 or 20 minutes, because the objective was to be willing to work TOWARD the goal, not accomplish everything all by day's end.

I'm such a perfectionist, (likely due to being raised in an environment where nothing I ever did was ever good enough), that it sometimes compmetely locks me up. I mean, what's the use of starting something if I feel like it will never be "good enough?" (Ie: perfect, or best) This is one of many stumbling blocks I face, and this idea of giving myself credit for THE EFFORT, regardless of the outcome has really helped.

I have so many challenges it really can be pretty awful some days. PTSD, social and generalized anxiety, and a propensity for becoming bored to death so easilly are just a few, and it results in my really hating everything about myself, just as you had described.

The biggest reason I felt so strongly compelled to read your post is because of the title. I am not so certain some of us FELL down the well, I think unfair social inequality pushed many of us down that deep shaft.

I can not applaud your success in choosing to fight the up-hill battle in spite of the fact that you knew in your heart of hearts that staying home today woild have been SO MUCH easier, at least in the, "Just for today," motif, but sometimes we definately need to look at the bigger picture, that includes a little more than just today.

Sure, we can't shovel tomorrow morning's snow tonight, but shoveling tonight's snow WILL make what needs to be done tomorrow morning a lot more reasonable.

I always have a *very* long "to do" list, and a good friend told me that's good, but the important list is the 3 things I decide to work toward today that I believe will make my tomorrows better than my yesterdays. That simple idea has helped me SO MUCH, but again, only when I actually utilize it. I sometimes struggle with even doing that even though I know it's in my best interest to do so.

Anyhow, I do hope and pray You're giving yourself some major props for fighting the uphill battle, traffic and drudgery you overcame this morning. You earned and deserve them.

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My perfectionism lessened as I learned to like myself. It did serve me well, but I’m not perfect.

I like the simplicity of your list system. I usually have enough projects for 3 lifetimes. I don’t feel a lot of pressure from my personal projects, but work can be a different story. I understand how easily I can become a zero, by trying to be a hero.

Acceptance is so important. I had to learn how to accept any amount of progress as a success, just like you said.

I am happy to report that I live to see another day. I took care of the things that needed my attention and I felt better as the day went on. I didn’t over do it, I took care of myself. I did some research on falling down the well, and I understand a bit more about my anxiety and depression. I think education is a good path for battling my issues. I don’t feel beaten by anything that I learn to understand.

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"Acceptance is so important. I had to learn how to accept any amount of progress as a success"

Thank you for this. It is my huge epiphany for today. This exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it.

Do you ever hit long periods where it seems like no matter how hard you try it's just day after week after month of, "status quo?" That's where I have been stuck since having everything jerked out from under me all at once nearly 3-1/2 years ago, and that was while I was recovering from another major blow from 2 years prior to that.

I have had periods where I had hit one of those plateaus, and coming out the other side life got significantly better, but never have I taken so many huge hits, financial reversals, betrayals and the loss of every bit of family I have ever known, all in rapid succession and over such a substantial length of time.

Therefore, yes, I needed to remind myself that I need to be appreciative of ANY progress, and in "talking" through this with you, I am definately discovering that I CAN in fact relate to "falling down the well" and hadn't really had the time opportunity to even process it in those terms.

Holy crap, falling down the well is precisely what happened. I started out in there bottom at birth, but yeah, I HAD climbed out.

I am exhausted, so I won't write about this cool inspirational parable tonight, but perhaps You're already familiar with it. It's about a poor farmer who is trying desperately to keep going. His well had dried up some years earlier, and on this particular day his mule rashes through the cover and falls into the old dry well.

Oh heck, I might as well finish it. So, everyone on town tries to help him get his mule out. They try to rope it up, but it's too heavy. They try using a post as a fulcrum to lift it by rope, but the well is too narrow to make that work, etc. The poor donkeybis scared to death and braying. It's absolutely heart-breaking.

Well, the poor old farmer can't stand to see this poor beast of burden in such distress, and decides it's just as well to fill the well in, as it's still a hazard and is dry anyway, and afford the animal it's brutal as well. So, all the town's people start helping him to try to make the end is quick as possible the poor mule, then one of the town's young boy notices something and excitedly calls for the people to bring the dirt as fast as they can.

Why? The boy was watching the mule, and every time more dirt fell on it, the animal would shake it off, and step up.

In a short time, the dangerous dry well was filled in, and the Mike's life was spared by it's own willingness to . . .

Yup

Shake it off, and step up.

Accepting one little bit of progress as a success, as you said, was the key. I guess I need to do the same. If it works for a dumb . . . <ahem> MULE, it should be well suited for me too. {chuckle}

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That is a great visual. “I’m out of the well, but at the end of the day I still am an ass”.

I want that on a T-shirt and I’m thinking about it for my tombstone.

I will sleep well tonight.

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I’m a week late but I’d like to know if you’re in therapy? I think most of us have good days and bad days. Never feel guilty about how you are feeling as it really serves no purpose but to keep you down. Keep talking.

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Right now I’m not really in therapy, formally. I have been working with a men’s group that focuses on emotion related skills. I also study about my issues to find understanding and methods that are not found in the text books of the pros.

I needed to learn about emotions from the ground up, that is something that they don’t do in therapy.

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I beg to differ. I have been in therapy for the better part of my 68 years.

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I can only speak from my experience.

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Have you ever been in therapy?

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Yes, and that is the experience of that I speak.

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At least you know that good feelings aren't far away. Grasp for what they could be and give them a push

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