Being brave can mean different things to different people depending on your personality type and what experiences you have had in your life.
Some people might think it is brave to give a speech in front of a large group of people. Others think doing something dangerous such as bungee jumping is being brave.
If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you will know that being brave can take on a whole new level that “normal” people have no idea exists.
Have you ever felt in so much despair that you couldn’t cope with your life and just wanted to stay in bed until everything went away? Did you force yourself to get up anyway because you had children, pets or an elderly relative you had to look after? That is being brave and you did it, you overcame tremendous mental obstacles, so that makes you a winner. Victory dance! 🙂
A lot of carers can suffer from depression and anxiety. The burden of responsibility on your shoulders all of the time can get too much to bear. I know what that feels like. You can feel isolated, like you’re the only one who is having to deal with helping someone else, you can feel guilty if you become frustrated and bad-tempered with the person you are looking after, even though that is understandable, and it can feel like your situation will never end. You can feel helpless and hopeless. If you are a carer, know that you are being brave just by doing what you have to do, every day. You’re amazing!
Have you ever been scared of going to the local shop because you have generalised anxiety disorder? Have you ever been frightened to set foot outside your front door in case you saw your nice, friendly neighbours and they wanted to talk to you? Did you force yourself to go out anyway, even though you were shaking and scared? That is being brave.
Other people do not understand how debilitating anxiety can be. You feel like everyone is watching you and judging you. Having to pack groceries into bags while there is a queue waiting behind you can send you into a panic. You think of all of the things that can go wrong and make you feel embarrassed.
When this has happened to me, I have taken slow, deep breaths which helps to bring your attention back to the moment, and repeated affirmations to myself. Saying “I can do this” over and over to yourself really does make you feel stronger and more able to cope.
Have you ever tried to support your family financially while your mental health was deteriorating? Have you ever forced yourself to go to a job that you hated because you needed the money? Have you ever had to cope with people at work when you felt irritable but you couldn’t control it and everyone got on your nerves, all of the time? Have you ever had to deal with multi-tasking at work while people were talking loudly and phones were ringing making it impossible for you to concentrate? Have you ever had times when you have gone completely blank and not known what you were supposed to be doing, making you think you were going mad?
Have you ever made yourself get on with working from home, writing a blog post, even though your mind wouldn’t let you concentrate (so you kept going over and over the same bits trying to see if they made sense) and you lacked the motivation to do anything (which is a big part of depression that people don’t take into consideration) but you had to try to make some money to keep a roof over your head? No? I have. I am brave and I will be a winner because I never give up.
If you suffer from depression and anxiety but you have “only” managed to get out of bed so far, or even if you haven’t, believe that you are brave because you are still alive and that makes you a winner. I know what it feels like to not want to be here, living this life any more. Life can be good but not while your mind is focusing on negative things. Medication can help with controlling your thoughts and coping skills courses can give you strategies on how to deal with the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
You need to focus on how things can get better before they can get better. Positive affirmations really can help you. Feel Good Art has created affirmation mugs that start to work while you relax with a hot cup of tea, as well as affirmations you can print out. Being creative is a great way to relax and the affirmations are absorbed by your subconscious mind as you colour them in. You can also add glitter, ribbons, sequins, shells or anything else to make your affirmations extra special and personal to you.
If any of this resonates with you and you have relatives or friends who do not understand what it is like to battle your own mind every day, please feel free to share this blog post with them. The more people who are aware of the symptoms of depression and anxiety, the more chances there are that those of us who suffer with mental health challenges will be accepted and supported more effectively.
Do your bit to help spread mental health awareness by sharing this post.
Free resources to make you feel better.
Have you seen our free short video of affirmations for self-esteem? Give it a try! Please leave feedback – good or bad – on our YouTube page so we can make the next video even better. 🙂