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.