Hiya all! Brian here. After sharing much of my life story here, I thought I would compile some of the things/tricks/tips that have helped me to begin to recover not just from anxiety, but from depression and fear as well. If someone had told me half of the things I know now when I was a growing up, life would have been so much more bearable, if not more positive. So I thought....If I could help someone in some fashion for the better, then maybe everything I went through would actually have been worth it! I'm gonna be using a lot of song titles from the rock group Queen. I can honestly say, hand on my heart, that their music has pulled me through some of the worst times in my life. If you get a chance, listen to some of their music. Their music may speak to you the way it spoke to me.......
Anyone who's under the age of 30, listen carefully and you may be surprised by what you hear....And no, there won't be a quiz on this later lol.
So, here we go (in no particular order)......
1. --I Want To Break Free!-- --- What is something that we can all say we do to one degree or another? We worry about EVERYTHING! We're taught to do that from an early age. Then, puberty hits......the need to feel accepted by certain social cliques becomes more acute.....Peer pressure starts to grind on you.....Feeling the need to be in a romantic relationship wears you down....Finally, the pressure to have your first sexual encounter.....
Can we say 'Perfect Storm', people?
Honestly, I'm amazed the teenage suicide rate isn't higher! So many things to worry about....It's enough to drive one up the wall! But.....is there really?
Here are some things that you really should worry about:
My physical/mental/emotional health -- Yep, that's important
My ability to pay my bills on time -- Yeah, that's definitely one
That I have a roof over my head, three square meals a day and a comfy bed to sink into each night -- I would say that's pretty important
That I have a car that can get me from point A to point B and back again -- Yeah, that doesn't hurt
If I'm in a relationship and/or have children, to make sure they are in good health and in good spirits -- Well, YEAH! lol
That I have a caring and supportive group of people in my life and impact my life in a positive way -- Well......it certainly doesn't hurt lol
Those are really the only things in life that need worrying over. Everything else.....meh.
What the latest celebrity fad is -- Not that important
That my favorite sports team didn't win the championship this season -- There's always next season
That I have to impress everyone in my school/workplace -- Yeah...uh, no
It's not that hard to weed out the things you should worry about from the things that are simply not that important. Common sense can be a wonderful thing lol.
2. -(Into Every Life A Little) Rain Must Fall- -- Let's face it, not everything will always go our way. Law of Averages see to that. But, that doesn't mean life has to always be a dreary, dreadful place to inhabit. When you get up in the morning, forget about everything that happened to you yesterday. You can't change what happened. It's in the past, leave it there. Each day is like having a blank canvas. The only person who can fill out that canvas....is you. When you sit up in bed in the morning, just look and listen. The day is completely unwritten. Nothing bad has happened. No one is being mean or hateful. So, why not revel in the opportunity to make it a good day? Now, I know from personal experience that your internal self-talk may make it seem that the day is gonna be awful. I'm here to tell ya it doesn't have to be! Blank canvas, remember? You take away what you put in to it. So, why not start the day on a positive note? Who knows what might happen....
3. -It's A Hard Life- -- Well, that one says a lot, doesn't it. Yeah, life is hard. Some days, it can be outright brutal. But, why does life have to be SOOO hard? It can be any number of things.....the need to fit in....the need to be liked....the need to be accepted...the need to act a certain way....the need to accomplish certain things....Which ever way you look at it, these are the things we've been taught that we need in order for us to be happy.
Well, let's swing the sledge hammer at that myth!
You cannot control what others do. You cannot even control what others think. It's that simple. What you can control is what you do and what you think. Are you going to please everyone? Nope, sorry. Not happening. Think of how many people that live on this planet. If you could please EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, they I would be truly impressed. But you can't. Not even close. So, why not be yourself?
Listen (because this is really important) - We are all unique for a reason. If every single one of us believed in the exact same things, dressed the exact same way, liked the exact same things, Life would be.....oh, can I put it?......dull. Seriously. We'd run out of things to talk about in 20 minutes lol. "Variety is the spice of Life". So, why not be what YOU want to be? What's the worst that could happen? Think of how much more comfortable you would be in your own skin......How much nicer you would be to others (and they to you)....How much easier it would be to smile....How much more you would look forward to each coming day....Each of us are beautiful and amazing in our own way. Others have probably already caught glimpses of it and you didn't even realize it. Especially here in this group. Never be afraid to be yourself! If you can't be YOU, then who can you be? lol
4. -Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To.....)- -- There is a wise, old saying: "Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated". So simple, yet so profound.
Ok, let's hop into the Wayback Machine......early 1990's, here we come!
When I was in my last year of high school, there was this girl (I've developed selective amnesia on her name. Not important to the story here). This girl was gorgeous! Not a hair out of place...a smile that would melt even the coldest of hearts....walked with an air of confidence that made everyone turn and watch....always impeccably dressed....a perfume that was so subtle, yet so powerful....every boy wanted to be with her, every girl envied her....A real beauty in most senses of the word....
And then, she opened her mouth.....
She was arrogant....she was condescending....she was spiteful and mean....she would do anything to get what she wanted....she happily destroyed friendships and sank relationships....she took pleasure in crushing other girls' self-esteem under her heel....she employed every nasty trick in the book to get her own way (I think she may even have invented one or two new ones along the way)....she even used sex as a weapon in her quite expansive arsenal....
Imagine Cinderella turning into the Wicked Stepmother right before your eyes...
It's girls like her (and boys too, come to think of it) that can make life absolutely miserable. Why would anyone want to be associated with someone like that? If it was me, if I saw her coming my way, I'd run like hell. And I was one of the lucky ones! Fortunately, I never found myself in her cross-hairs. But I saw others boys who were not so fortunate. There were also a lot of girls who were absolutely demolished but this one girl. With hindsight and life experience, when I think back about her, all I see is a trail of devastation and despair in her wake.
The moral to the story? True beauty resides within. If you are a beautiful person on the inside, then you will blossom into a very rare, precious flower that everyone will want to cultivate and delight being in the presence of. Physical beauty is fleeting. Gone in the blink of an eye. Inner beauty is, truly, eternal and will last long after you're gone.
Ok folks, we're headin' into the home stretch. This may be the most important of all the points, so try to keep up....
5. -The Show Must Go On!- -- Take a good, long look at your room. Your home. If you're in school, your locker. The magazines you read. The movies/television shows you watch. The media you use. What is the one overlapping thing you see? You are seeing an attempt to force on you a set of unrealistic and unobtainable goals manufactured by the media and the entertainment industry. They want you to buy in on what they're ideas of how you should look, act and feel are.
How many plus-sized models do you really see? How many of ethnic minorities do you see? Differing religious beliefs? Of all the people you see on TV and the movies, how many people do you really know like that in real life? How many times have you read in magazines: "10 Super Tips for Getting What You Desire!"? How many times have you been faced with photos or posters of women (or men as the case may be) that look too perfect to be true? Is it any wonder why young people feel so bad and down on themselves? Look at all the pain and misery the media has caused in us average, everyday people. Is it any wonder that we feel so terrible about ourselves?
But.....what's that?......is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel?
Everything I mentioned before this one point all ties in together here. It's like the Force from Star Wars -- Those qualities we have surround us and binds us and holds us together. No, you're not gonna be able to use Jedi Mind Tricks lol. And yes, there are two sides to this Force as well. There are some truly mean people in this world. There's no getting around that. Some very wicked, dastardly people. But, there are good people in this world as well. If you're reading this, then you're probably one of them! No kidding! Being yourself, trying to maintain a positive outlook, and being friendly and inviting combine to make you one powerful Jedi, my young apprentice!
*sigh* No, you still cannot use Jedi Mind Tricks..... lol
I should point out here, in closing, that there are always exceptions to the rules. But they're just that: exceptions. But there are always possibilities, too. It also isn't gonna be easy. Nothing in life worth having is obtained easily. We are a good people, if we choose to be. You only need to find your light to brighten the way. But, you are not alone on this journey. You can be yourself! You can be the light that guides everybody else! It's been there all along, waiting to flourish.
"The Show Must Go On--
Inside my heart is breaking, my makeup may be flaking
But my smile ---- still stays on...."