Take Two Breaths and Try Again

The more comfortable I become with my mental illness – a combination of anxiety and depression – the more I recognize just how much it has impacted my life. My depression and anxiety play tag, one month I will feel the effects of one more than the other and the next it will switch.  This month, anxiety has led a harsh battle against my inner peace.  Since school is my trigger, this makes sense. My perfectionist tendencies come out in force as I work on papers, study, and interact with my peers and professors.

Yet, with recognition comes understanding and awareness.  So, despite my inability to take my stabilizing medications (due to pregnancy), I can talk about my difficulties with Ben and try out possible solutions.  And sometimes these solutions are simple, like taking a couple breaths and starting over.

This past week, for example, I had a hefty load of papers and other assignments to complete.  Because I am attempting to forge a work-life balance, I do most of my school work on Monday through Thursday and keep Friday through Sunday open so I can spend time with the kids and Ben.  This means that I am spending over 10 hours on those days working on assignments, and, since I am also a stay-at-home mom, waking up really early and staying up really late.  By Thursday, I am generally wiped out and overwhelmed.

When I felt myself losing control, I firmly decided to take a breathing break and try again the next day.  You know what? It was the most efficient thing I did last week.  So, to help me remember this, I’ve made a poster to hang up in my room…or at least place on my computer.

This post is part of Health Activists Writer’s Month.

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3 Comments

Filed under mental illness

3 responses to “Take Two Breaths and Try Again

  1. I really needed these last 2 posts. Thank you. 🙂

  2. I love that poster. I totally need one. You’re brilliant.

  3. Melanie

    Dear Amber — On a personal note, when I gave up the delusion that I should be perfect my stress level dropped accordingly. The quest for perfection is best left to those who have unlimited dollars along with housekeepers, cooks, au pairs and drivers at their disposal. Even then, perfection is likely only attainable for a few moments at a time — at best. Even Gandhi was far from perfect!! All we can do is the best we can do. The best YOU can do under the circumstances is probably far better than most people can do, so cut yourself some slack!! We’re all rooting for your academic success but we want you to enjoy day-to-day life as well. Balance is everything (but obviously I’m preaching to the choir. Thanks for sharing, Love ya!!