I could really feel it today. The hot breath of Ruth (that’s the name I granted my anxiety monster- thought it was creepy and yet somehow rational similar to the way it feels to have anxiety). It was tapping the back of my neck as I opened my eyes this morning creating a slight pulse in my temple. Just enough to give me an excuse not to get out of bed, just enough to claim another mental health day instead of knocking the 15 things off my to-do list.
She’s been gone for awhile but Ruth’s presence certainly has not been missed. She’s graceful, I’ll giver her that: always popping up without a sound but she is quite the freeloader once she does make an appearance- staying however long she wishes. And with her entrance this morning into my subconscious, I knew she was planning to stay awhile this round.
Well Ruthie baby, we aren’t gonna let you win this time around. I am not the only one with a persistent anxiety monster that wakes up with me in the morning. So I am asking all of you with a Ruth to join me in success today despite her companionship.
Get out of bed. I know, I know. Much easier said than done. But it is an active choice to roll onto your side and put your feet on the ground. Take as long as you need to but roll over and get your ass out of bed.
Kill the headache. Pop an ibuprofen along with your antidepressant. That might mean a prescription, a joint, or both. Do some yoga, go on a run, or brew a cup of coffee. Either way, do not let a reminder of Ruth’s presence sit in your temple all day long.
Create a list of goals. And put getting out of bed on there with a big fat check mark next to it. Because you accomplished that and you need to be proud of it. And put something that challenges the hell out of you on there. No matter what it is, push yourself. Find your favorite pen and start checking things off every time you finish one. It’ll feel like you’re beating Ruth with every accomplished task she made you question you were capable of.
Breathe. This shit isn’t easy. Ruth isn’t easy. Some days are better than others- a phrase used all too much but accurate nonetheless. Give yourself a break, have a meltdown if you need to. But don’t forget to breathe and really focus on each and every inhale. We take for granted how simple oxygen moving in and out of our lungs is but it is so powerful. We are alive and focusing on our breath is the easiest way to remind ourselves of that. We are living and breathing with a purpose. Don’t lose sight of that.
Find yourself an outlet. I suggest chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and The Noticer by Andy Andrews but it can be absolutely anything as long as it gets Ruth off your back for more than 30 seconds.
Just please please please Say kind words to yourself. It is so easy to lay in bed, succumb to your headache and quit for the day. But don’t. You’re stronger than that and you deserve better than that. Ruth hasn’t earned the right to take over who you are and what you are capable of. Don’t let her have it without a fight.
So join me as I continue to sip my coffee and knock things off the to-do list (first on my list is making the bed). Ruth is gonna stay with me all day, I can still feel her breath but even if it takes every ounce of effort in my soul, I will not let her defeat me today.