I spend a lot of my time worrying about what the future holds for me. I would say I spend more time worrying about that than I spend sleeping, but seeing as I barely sleep that wouldn’t make a good comparison. It makes it difficult to find time to live when you are busy worrying about something that probably won’t come about. I’m pretty good at picking out all the things that need changing in my life, but not as proficient at following my own advice. I can type numerous brilliant ideas for strategies to deal with my worry and depression, but if you were to ask me if I practice any of them, I would be hard pressed to come up with an example of when I’ve successfully followed any of them. I think the best advice I could follow would be to live in the moment and not worry too much about what could happen months down the road. I need to be aware of what is happening around me at every moment and accept it for what it is; whether it is joy or suffering, good or bad. Sounds good. I get excited about it and begin researching ways to get more in touch with the moment, but then I remember that I’m still waiting for my Criminal Background Check for school, or that I’m going have to pay for this school thing and I fall right back into the spiral down into worry and depression.
It is the fact that I pick myself up and try again that tells me that I have made some progress. I’ll take that. It’s hard to see these little victories from my vantage point as I only see the pain and anxiety that fills everyday and not my increased ability to deal with it. A year or so ago I was in the office of my GP and we began talking about my coping abilities and he noticed that I wasn’t as convinced as he was that I was in better shape than the first time I came in there with my breakdown. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Ryan, I was convinced that I needed to institutionalize you during that first year and now that thought doesn’t cross my mind.” I was taken aback with that. It had never occurred to me just how unpredictable and “crazy” I was during that first bit. I guess it didn’t occur to me because I don’t remember that first month or so after I broke down. It is really important to ask for insight from people who don’t see you everyday because they can see the progression a lot easier than someone who lives with it everyday. It is just as important to trust that person’s point of view and accept what they say.