If You Aren’t Happy, Change It

We have all probably gone through a time where we felt stuck and didn’t know how to get out of it. We all know that person who complains about the same thing over and over again.

Me, personally, I didn’t necessarily complain. I just fell into a deep, dark depression while pretending everything was okay. And then, I’d explode and cry and be extremely confused on what I was supposed to do. Then, I would fall back into the same cycle I was in before I exploded. It was never-ending.

After going through that a few times, I realized that nothing was going to get better just because I was dealing with something I didn’t like. Things didn’t just fix themselves. I had to fix them. I had to change something.

Change is hard to make. We all get used to the way things are or the way we think they are supposed to be. One thing we have to realize is that there is no set plan on how to deal with something. What works for one person might not work for another. We are allowed to adjust our life to make it a happier place for us to be in.

Sometimes, these changes are the biggest decisions you will ever make. One of mine was to leave the college and major I had chosen and move back home and attend a local college with a different major. It took me a year and a half and a lot of depression to figure that I was not supposed to be at that school, doing what I was doing. I have never regretted it.

So take the leap. If you are stressed about something or unhappy about something, change it. Figure out a better way to deal with it. Don’t just accept that this is the way life is and this is the only way it has to be.

What Are My Big Dreams?

My sisters gave me this book on self-exploration for my birthday this year. I opened it and started looking at the types of questions that were being asked.

The first question was to list 5 things that immediately bring a smile to your face. I could think of at least 2 things off of the top of my head (although the eternal debate of what I want to say versus what I should say definitely takes place). So this one, I think I can handle.

I turned the page and the next question was the to list 10 big dreams that haven’t come true yet.

Ummmm…….

It’s not like I have thought about it a lot. But the question brings up a lot of anxiety in me. How am I supposed to answer this? And it’s not 1 or 2 dreams. I probably could scrounge up 1 or 2. It’s 10! Maybe if I had read this book 10 years ago….

Sometimes, it feels like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. But I’m not that old. So it can’t be it. Can it?

I know there are places I haven’t seen yet and things I want to do with my kid. There are things I want my kid to accomplish and I can see her life clearly.

But my life has gone fuzzy. I am thankful for everything I have. I am definitely content where I am. It worries me though that it doesn’t feel like I have anything to strive for (other than obviously being mother of the year). I am a big believer in doing things for yourself even when you are a mom.

So where did all of my ambition go? What are my big dreams now? How do I even start to figure it out?

Anxiety…My Hidden Companion

At 8:53 a.m. I was still curled up in a ball in bed.  It was Monday, and I had work, but I was thankful that my 10 am meeting had been canceled. The cancellation allowed me to stay curled up in bed a bit longer before I absolutely had to get out.  I had originally woken up at 4:08 am. “Breathe in. Breathe out,” I told myself as I tried to relax and let the anxiety pass. But it didn’t. It stayed with me.  It stayed with me all day.
I thought about every single thing I could be stressed about but there was nothing in particular that was actually stressing my out.  This prevented me from going through the exercises to try to at least manage my anxiety by telling myself that the reason I am anxious is well just not a good enough reason to be up at 4:08 a.m.  I turned to web browsing to tire myself out.  A little after 5:00 am, I was finally falling asleep.   When I woke back up again at6:54 a.m., I thought “6 more minutes…”  As I started to become more awake, I realized the anxiety was still there — without any reason.  I could feel my heart beating loudly in my chest.  I tried holding my breath.  I tried meditation.  I tried trying to slow down my breathing.  I tried to just feel my anxiety so I could accept it so it would decrease.  Nothing seemed to work today.

In the midst of client calls and work, I felt my heart beating and my chest constricting.  By 1:37 p.m., I wanted to cry.  I was tired of dealing with my anxiety.  Today was especially emotionally draining to “manage” my anxiety (because I am not supposed to “control” it) and still have to work.  I wanted to feel “normal.”  The idea that there are actually people out there who don’t have to deal with anxiety without any explanation was envy worthy.

But the anxiety wasn’t going anywhere.  Sometimes, I have an entire few hours without anxiety.  It’s rare for these hours to occur when I am alone.  Mostly they happen when I am able to just lose myself in the moment around some family or friends.  My unwanted and unwelcome companion just rides through life with me.  Some days it’s more overbearing than others like today.  I have learned to smile through it, but it’s there. Lurking – in the background.  Always.

Being Alone and Being Lonely

I moved. I knew I had to move. I didn’t expect it though. I moved across the country while being 15 weeks pregnant. I moved because my husband got a job. It was between the job we took near family or a job in the south where we knew nobody. I miss home. I don’t even know where home is anymore. My nearby family members have a life of their own so we’re not having the family gatherings I envisioned before moving here. We moved to a seasonal town that’s empty till it’s warm. There isn’t much of a community to meet or interact with even though I’m actively trying to make friends.

I had a baby in the middle of winter. I tell my husband everyday how much I don’t like it here. That combined with my post partum hormones the isolation and loneliness has really sunk in. My husband is a typical male, a solution-focused individual who wants to help but doesn’t understand completely. How can he understand? He doesn’t know what it’s like to have a baby, be tethered to a baby, and be at home all day day in and day out.

Complaining or venting also isn’t how you want to start new friendships and having a new baby makes it difficult to talk to the old ones.

And each day passes. My husband is tired of hearing me complain. This affects our married which affects me. This all becomes part of a self-fulfilling prophecy of me saying if we didn’t move here I would be upset and if I wasn’t upset I wouldn’t complain and if I didn’t complain then it wouldn’t affect our marriage. And the days go on.

Is it me? Do I just not know how to be happy? Should I be thinking of starving children in developing countries or war and destruction and be happier? Are my problems so first world? I have my health, we are financially comfortable, and I have a beautiful baby. I don’t know.

Ask

Have ever had one of those days where the thoughts are just running crazy through your head? How about one of those days where you think that no one can possibly feel the way you are feeling right now? Things can seem overwhelming with so many thoughts and emotions. And you end up feeling completely alone because everyone else seems to have their lives together.

The big question is when do we stop and ask for help. Asking for help is difficult because we always think that we can get through whatever we are going through without it. We also don’t want everyone to know the things we think or feel. What if they think we’re weak or crazy? Maybe others won’t understand what we are going through. Maybe others will judge us and make us feel like we are worthless or stupid for feeling the way we feel. Maybe we are the only ones who feel that way and there isn’t a point in asking anyone else about it.

I’ve gone through some rough things before and I’ve been down the therapy route. I am a big proponent of it. Eventually, I stopped going to therapy for the simple reason of living too far away from her. I haven’t looked for a new therapist in the meantime because I was doing much better and I was able to cope with my problems without help.

Even having gone to a therapist before, I still hesitate before I ask for help. At some points in my life, my problems were extremely obvious. I feel like others will judge me because, right now, I don’t actually have anything really wrong with my life. But, in holding back anything I’m feeling, I alienate myself.

I realize I’m happiest when I’ve connected to others who can understand the thoughts I’m having. I realize I feel better about life when I know that I am not alone in anything.

My point of this article is this:

You are not the only one who thinks it. More people than you know are dealing with different thoughts or feelings. Even if we feel alone, we are not.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Yeah, It’s Out Of My Control

We, Indians, are perfect. No, really, we are. We are all intelligent, beautiful, and successful.

Ok, let’s talk reality. No one is perfect. Yes, we might have a lot going for us.

However, there is a lot of us have things that we don’t talk about much, things that are out of our control. Many of us have a weakness that we don’t advertise. But it’s there.

My weakness is epilepsy. Unless you’ve seen me popping my medication or have actually seen me drop into a seizure randomly, you probably don’t know that I have epilepsy.

It is super frustrating for me because while I know the triggers, I hate having to change my life to cater to my condition. I do take care of myself though because I don’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean I don’t slip every so often.

My most recent seizure happened during my sister’s wedding weekend. I was lucky that one of my sister’s friends knew what to do. I woke up, got ready, and went to my sister’s wedding rehearsal.

My other sister asked me why it didn’t bother me that it happened. I told her later that it did. But I had 2 choices at the time. I could sit and dwell on it and be upset it happened or I could move on and enjoy the weekend.

We all have something or we will have something at some point in our life. And we can curse our bad luck or we can accept that this is our reality. We can figure out how to live with it. We can ask for help if we need to.

There is no shame in anything that affects your health, whether it be physical or mental. We are human.  There is a lot we have to deal with. And absolutely everyone has something that they can’t control. Everyone has something that takes work, that we have to adjust to. Dealing with epilepsy didn’t just take a neurologist. It took a therapist as well.

Yes, it sucks. I’ve felt that over and over again. I probably will be taking medication to control the seizures for a long time. But since I don’t have an option in the matter, I can only learn to have a good attitude about it. I can be upset or I can have fun.

And I choose to have fun.

 

It’s Okay To Let Go

Today, I saw this article about letting go of toxic people to make room for more positivity in your life. It reminded me of all of the people I have slowly been walking away from because they aren’t good for me.

Let’s be honest. For me, it basically came down to unfriending them on Facebook. The fact that they were toxic already meant we weren’t socializing or in touch at all. But seeing their lives on Facebook just kept me connected to them. When I did have to deal with them in person, it just drove home the point that we weren’t meant to be friends.

It’s a difficult thing to do. Some of the people I have walked away from share so much history with me. There are friends I have had growing up, people on dance teams, old relationships, former best friends. How do you just let go of 10 plus years of friendship? How do you let go people who were there for you in the most difficult times? How do you walk away from people who were there through sweat, blood, and tears? And what happens that these are the people who become toxic?

I honestly believe a lot of it happened because I changed. I learned who I was and because I embraced that part of myself, it changed the relationship I had with whichever person was now toxic. Some friendships have the capability of adapting. But some definitely don’t. And when you believe you are making a change for the better, you can either trust yourself and those who support you or you can view yourself from an outside point of view that makes you feel less than you should. In my opinion, no one should ever make you feel that way.

If you are also Indian, you know that walking away from someone doesn’t mean you won’t ever see them again. Sometimes, I wish it did but let’s face it. We are all 2 degrees of separation from each other. Inevitably, we will run into someone who we have decided isn’t good for us. And we have to learn how to deal with it.

It’s also difficult to see everyone else’s lives go on without you because you chose to walk away. I see groups I used to be a part of living their lives and celebrating events, only now I am on the outside. It would be so easy to find a way back into the groups but I also know it wouldn’t be good for me to be around those people. Sometimes, it does suck to be on the outside.

This is the hard part for me. I would love people to see what I see and “be on my side” about the toxic person. Then, I have to remind myself that just because someone isn’t good for me doesn’t mean that person isn’t good for someone else. And honestly, I can see where I might be toxic for other people. So I have to learn to let it be because everyone has the right to live the way he or she wants as well and I walk away, unfriend, or shield myself from them.

All I can do is what is best for my life and keep positive, supportive people around my family.