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While I am staring at the blank box of my WordPress page, I’m trying to figure out how long it has been since I took the time to sit down and write. More importantly, what was the reason for not writing?

Writing is my way of processing things, dealing with changes. When I put into words what is running through my head, I can sort my thoughts. Therefore, I can distance myself from a situation and take a more rational look at it. I then often realize that certain things aren’t as bad as it seemed. Or, sometimes, it is my only way to accept a certain outcome.

In my last blog entry, I was trying to explain that music is so much more to me than just a song or an album. I tried to explain why I can’t share those incredible moments and feelings I have because of music. Back then, I already knew that I was about to fall into an episode of my dark days, and even though I tried to condition myself and concentrate on three little things a day that made me happy, I couldn’t change the direction I was heading to.

Accepting the facts

In October/November last year, I had one of the worst anxiety and depression periods in a very long time. Some days, I tried to hide from most people. Other days, I was angry at almost everyone just because they were breathing. Climax was a day when I couldn’t get out of bed and spent almost 48 hours with sleeping. I was too exhausted from dealing with everything that was going on in my head. That’s when I realized I had to face my monsters, I had to take back control. Otherwise they would even destroy the last piece of happiness.

That’s when I reached out for help. One of the very first steps in situations like that is to call that one special someone to tell him about my next steps, to discuss the pros and cons, and yes, to reassure myself I’m doing the right thing – because up until today, I struggle with this. After getting some peace of mind because of that conversation, the next step was to find professional help. I have been in therapy before, and I know how helpful it can be for me. I’ve never been someone to drag my friends with me into these dark days, I don’t want to be a burden, and unfortunately, I don’t trust them enough to be in there with me. This means the logical consequence is to find someone else to talk to.

The last step, and probably the hardest at that point, was to admit that I felt lonely. I do have amazing friends in Australia, and the time I spend with them always brings me joy. However, I felt lost. I felt like I didn’t have a good reason to get out of bed in the morning… and I’m afraid that’s the worst thought you can have when dealing with anxiety and depression. As it makes you feel even more miserable, it basically drags you into a vicious circle full of dark thoughts.

But how do you overcome loneliness?

I honestly can’t give you an answer for that as it is different for everyone. In my case, I knew I needed to find a purpose to look forward to start my days again, and I knew, I used to be happier when exercising. Fortunately, I study with some incredible human beings, and one of them invited me to try out her gym.
To accept that invitation was probably the best decision I could’ve made so far.
Yes, I felt anxious the first three weeks going there, and yes, even now I have days where anxiety strikes incredibly hard, but I push myself to go there. Because I know it makes me feel better. With every session, I am able to wind down from a stressful day, take my mind off for an hour and just enjoy myself.
When I signed up and had my initial meeting with my coach to set some goals, I knew exactly what to say:

  1. Help me live with my anxiety and depression
  2. Support me in losing weight and gaining muscle
  3. Give me the opportunity to socialize

And now, after 4 months, I finally realize how important they really have been to me.
No matter how exhausted I feel, being at the gym is my energy refuel. No matter how – excuse the language – fucked up my mind is, being at the gym gives me the opportunity to escape my own head for awhile. And no matter how angry I am – if I haven’t told you about the lack of my anger management yet, I will do that eventually soon -, being at the gym makes me get rid off all these feelings. I guess that is why I love boxing so much!

The gym became my happy place!

Even though, all of that doesn’t sound too complicated to understand, it is a realization I had a couple of weeks ago that made me choose the heading for this entry: after some intense weeks filled with work, friends, and me trying to rush from one thing to another with barely 6 hours sleep every night, I started to listen to my monsters, and apparently they have been the happiest when I was at the gym. They didn’t complain, they didn’t fight it. On the contrary, they made me want to work harder, lift heavier, run faster!

And suddenly, there was something besides music that made it so much easier to handle my monsters. How I became aware of that?
I felt comfortable with the people around me – especially my fit squad -, I even started to hang out with them outside of the gym. Besides, I started to laugh more, because I felt like laughing and not because I thought I had to. I wasn’t even afraid of shedding a tear in front of them once, as I didn’t feel like hiding how I really felt that day. And more importantly, I felt good about myself. I felt and feel proud of myself, of everything I’ve achieved so far.

It is easy to lose the focus of all the good things that one has in life, especially when living with anxiety, depression and these little Monsters. I personally figured, I am finally able again to focus on the good things, my happy things. And as unusual as this might seem: I actually enjoyed to write about the happy place in my life.

Is this a sign that I’m changing the way I share my life with my monsters? Maybe. Who knows.

In Monsterly Love,
L.

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