I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self care and my personal responsibility to take care of my mental health. I don’t want to shame people who have mental health problems that are out of their control because I know that a lot of things just can’t be prevented or changed and that it often takes experience and practice and a lot of bad times to get to the point where you can be proactive about your health.
But at this point, I’m 25 and much of my teens and early 20s were rough. I feel like those years of anxiety and depression have at least taught me some lessons about how I, personally, respond to different things. And I do feel like I have a responsibility to myself and to my loved ones to pay attention to what I’ve learned and to be as healthy as it is reasonably possible for me to be.
For instance, as my depression got better, I limited my treatment. But lately I have been feeling like I get depressed sometimes with no external trigger, so I am stepping up treatment again. And luckily I know now what treatments work best for what situations, which is the type of thing I couldn’t have known about myself without trial and error. I’m also trying to do things that make me feel good about myself, and I’m getting really serious about my exercise routine.
So this is the part where I admit to being stupid still. I’ve been anxious lately, which sucks. There are things I can do to help that and to some extent I’m doing them. But I’m still somewhat in denial. I let myself procrastinate, which is both a symptom and cause of the anxiety. I’ve also been really hesitant to take Xanax because I worry about developing a tolerance or dependency to it. But right now I think I don’t take it enough and let my anxiety get out of control too much. Yesterday I took a dose, but that was after I drank too much caffeine and gave myself a panic attack (which is an example of “I should have known better but did it anyway”).
I have a lot of experience feeling shitty. Enough to know that I want to do everything I can to not feel that way. I know I’ll never just not have depression and anxiety, but I do hope that the worst is behind me. Being mentally healthy will help me in school, socially, and in my relationship. It will also get me back to a place where I can practice non-monogamy again sooner, which is something I really want.