What Are You Doing Up So Early?

One of the most frustrating things about having a sleeping disorder -- and that's exactly what it is -- A Disorder, is that your mind just "clicks" and you are either awake or asleep. It's 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning and I have been laying in my bed awake since 5:01 AM trying to fall back asleep. I finally gave up and came downstairs to make some coffee and start the day. I have anxiety already. I know I have to go through my "rituals" this morning in order to calm myself and have a decent day. But, panic attacks strike me without warning and I am always surprised at how devastating they are. Writing helps stave off the panic, as does yoga and meditation. If you follow my blog, you know that I also have resolved to fight against depression this year. It is damn hard. I know there are others out there who suffer from depression. If I can offer any advice, any shred of compassion, please, please, please talk to someone and let them know how you're feeling. Here are just a few suggestions for recognizing and managing depression, anxiety and sadness:

1. Impetuous decisions are a sign that I am not well. I'm not thinking clearly. I don't care what the consequences of my actions are in the moment. Recognize it. Ask someone you trust to recognize it and call you on it.

2. I don't ask for help from the wrong people. I now surround myself with people who understand spirituality and the power it has to heal. Believe me, I have fought against my spiritual life all my life. Not wanting to go there. Believing I had to "belong" to a church community in order to feel God's blessings. I actually admire people who are committed to their religious beliefs and attend their places of worship and feel part of a community. I had to admit to myself that it wasn't my path to spiritual fulfillment. And that's okay. It doesn't make me any worse or any better than anyone else. I'm not a joiner. Maybe I am antisocial. I don't know and it doesn't matter. Just understand this -- your heart and soul and understanding of your illness will never grow until accept some form of spiritual life, some relationship with your God.

3. Nothing is worth getting sick over. (Look -- you're already sick with one illness or in some cases several illnesses -- stressing over minuscule issues is not the answer.)

4. Write down your feelings. Share them with someone you trust. Key word "TRUST."

5. I often do or say embarrassing things when I am not well. Like saying "you would all be better off without me." Or, "what's the point of living?" These things upset the people I love and they resent it. They feel like they can't trust me. They get afraid of what I'm thinking or what I might do. This is a warning sign that cannot be ignored. GET HELP.

6. You can come out this alive. You may feel that you are dead inside, but there is a life worth living out there. You're not dead, you're sick. There are medications and caring professionals out there who want to help you help yourself. It takes a lot of time and introspection. Sometimes you will not want to help yourself and will expect others to do it for you but YOU are the only one who can change your life. It may not be a PERFECT life, but it can be a GOOD life. Take if from someone who's been there and fights everyday from going there ever again.