I’ve been on the remeron over a week now, and I’ve seen a difference in my mood. While I am more sedate, calmer, and a little sleepier I am definitely not as agitated. It feels like I am starting to get back to myself and that’s a really good feeling. I worry that this is temporary, and feel a bit like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I know that’s my anxiety talking. I am getting well. I have periods of feeling quite a bit better.
My therapist says that when I’m really anxious, severely anxious, I have little to no control over my moods, and I have to rely on my meds during those times. That I’m doing everything I can be doing. Fair enough. It is then that I must have compassion for myself, being unwell. When I am well, I am able to take control over my anxiety, at least to a certain extent. Mild to moderate anxiety can be worked through/on. So when it passes that threshold from moderate to severe, to recognize it as such, and accept it for what it is.
The overwhelming theme of today’s therapy session was “acceptance”. Learning to accept me for me. Benefits and pitfalls. What are the benefits of being me? M. asked me. I could could think of a couple of things. I need to remind myself more of the benefits. I’m kind. I’m approachable. I’m bright. I’m passionate. What are the pitfalls? Let’s put it under the neurotic/anxious umbrella term, for now.
M. reminded me of some important things. I was talking about guilt, and how I felt guilty that I wasn’t further in my thesis work. He said, “wouldn’t you be further if you could have been?” And that is the crux right there. I was not able to be further in my work. And I need to accept that. If I could have been done by now, I would be, for who am I/have I been hurting by not being done? Nobody but me. And why would I do that to myself intentionally? Exactly. I wouldn’t.
So I have to accept me for me. Me, who has anxiety and depression. Me, who lost this whole semester and more to this illness. Me, who struggles daily with self-esteem. But to also accept that I have good qualities too, and to remember them. I can write. I am eloquent. I have drive. And when I am well, and the anxiety is not getting in the way, you can see that. I can see that. What I consider to be faults or bad qualities are not what they seem to be. They are products of the anxiety. And when I have moments of clarity I can see that they are simply symptoms of depression/anxiety. They are not qualities of self. They are not who I am.
Who I am is different from everyone else. I can wish and wish that I was 6’0 tall, but I’m not and never will be. That is not something I can change. I accept that. In the same way, I must accept that I am who I am. I do procrastinate. I do easily distract. But I also am kind, intelligent, musical and hard-working. Some things you cannot change. I cannot change that I have anxiety. I probably always will. I can change how I look at it. I can accept it. I cannot change that I lost time during this degree due to my illness. Not a damn thing can I do about it. So I must accept it. It is fact. Now I must move on. Accept that I am being the best I can be, and doing the best I can. That my best is different from someone else’s best. And that’s what life’s about, isn’t it?
I will try harder to get rid of the “shoulds” and the comparisons and the guilt. That type of thinking just eats at your self-esteem and self-worth. I refuse to indulge it anymore. I choose to move forward with acceptance of who I am.