New Year, Same Me

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t do this because why should I lie to myself and try to force myself to do things I don’t really care about. Shouldn’t I let myself find things I want to do? Goals that if I put in a little effort I can actually reach them.

Instead, I have resolved to do whatever I want to do, as long as I make some sort of progress throughout the year. A friend told me that a goal she has is “Keep the Change” and I really like that idea. Keep the beneficial changes you made into the previous year, and allow yourself to continue to change in positive ways.

In 2017, I made a decision to go medication free. This meant no prescription antidepressants. I have tried vitamins and over the counter antidepressants, but they have little effect on changing my mood. It has been just over seven months and it has been a crazy journey. I experience bouts of depression, but it is nothing compared to my anxiety and stress reactions. The depression comes and goes, but I have been using two different mood tracker apps to see how bad it is, and it often is not as bad as I think it is. Anxiety and stress cause me not only physical symptoms, but cause declines in my mental health. It has been hard for me, especially because I feel things so deeply. What I mean by this is that when others are unhappy or depressed or ungrateful, it makes me very, very sad. It makes my heart hurt. This winter has been a bad one for the mental health of every member of my family to a degree, and because their pain causes me to be upset, I feel my own depression and the worry I have about them. It has been really hard for me to cope and I have been thinking of reaching out to a therapist or psychiatrist. It seems that my insurance may or may be able to provide me with someone I can talk to about my mental health.

Being off medication has its benefits too. I can usually recover faster from anxiety or stressors. Like most people, it takes me a while to get back to normal, but sometimes I can feel the improvements rather quickly, usually when I have time to just spend with my mom and talk, get all my thoughts out. I can tell when I am pretty happy, and I feel more free to be myself, even though that comes with problems such as my sister calling me immature.

I have made a lot of progress in this past year, and I hope to continue the trend into 2018. I hope everyone had a good holiday and that 2018 has many good things in store for us.

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