When you’re depressed and anxious you grow to have certain behaviors that are comforting to you. Whether it’s a song, a food, a movie, or those evil double edged swords of things that can help and hinder your recovery at the same time. We all have a learned behavior of things that comfort us, and surprisingly, they change as we do.
1. You probably stick to a strict schedule. Schedules become comforting to those who have anxiety. A certain time for something every day. It calms us. It makes it so we cannot over-think what is going to come next.
2. You probably have more than one playlist on your ipod. One for when you’re feeling low, with sappy songs from Anna Nalick, Three Days Grace, or some blues band to just suffer in the silence of your own mind when you’re sad. When you’re feeling anxious, you probably have a playlist filled with peaceful songs that quiet the brain, like nature sounds, or if you’re like me, irish folk music.
3. You have your favorite high and low movies. For me, when I’m feeling low, it’s movies like Jane Eyre, Girl, Interrupted, or The Order. When I’m anxious, it’s something like The Hobbit or a series that keeps me entertained for awhile.
4. You have a journal. One, because it’s your safe place to write all of your things down without fearing the reaction of anyone. And, two, because anxious people hate feeling like a burden to others. Paper becomes our friend.
5. Drinking alcohol becomes a 50/50 game of chance. 50% that it will make you ride a happy intoxication. 50% That you’ll end up in tears. Chances are, you don’t take that risk often.
6. You seek attention from those who understand. The worst feeling in the world is being surrounded by those who don’t understand. When you find that person(s), you’ll stick to them like glue. They get you.
7. You can easily get triggered by others with depression or anxiety symptoms. It’s hard being around them, because you sit and wonder if you’re the same.
8. You fake a smile easily. It’s become your second nature. You get tired of people asking how you are doing repeatedly, so a smile and a “I’m okay” become the quick response to hide anything else.
9. You text more than talk on the phone. Voices can easily show off the highs and lows of our emotions, so you avoid that. Texting can be an easy escape. Most can’t tell if you’re happy or sad in a text message.
10. You DESPERATELY want to be happy. Just like everyone else. And, guess what? It happens. Sometimes. We have to fight every single day to try to be happy. We have to fight to smile for real, and to have that “I’m okay” be sincere and genuine. We want to be happy.. we just have to fight harder.
We’ll get there. Eventually.