So it’s been a busy last few weeks. In between work, gymming, some issues close to home and the occasional Pokémon hunting (yes I’m into that… I’m playing it right now), there’s been very little time for me to actually sit down and gather my thoughts long enough to write a blog post. I have however finally nabbed some time to give a little personal update on how things are going.
A more positive outlook
My last post on here was a pretty negative one. I was going through a bit of a rough patch, my first real spell where I felt like I was slipping back into my depression/anxiety behaviours ever since I finished my course of CBT. I wasn’t happy at work – I was feeling pretty overworked and in general didn’t really feel like I fit in – I wasn’t sleeping very well and I’d even applied online for some self-help CBT to just try and get myself through it.
Thankfully, I feel like I’ve climbed out of that hole. My perspective is feeling a lot more positive these days, mainly because I’m starting to feel more confident in myself and more comfortable at work. I’m finding it easier to interact with my colleagues and I’m not shying away from any social situations. These past few weeks alone have been pretty busy with two birthdays and a few other social events. Usually I’d find them exhausting and therefore wouldn’t really enjoy them but actually I found them really enjoyable.
The two birthdays have been almost like a reunion for me with all of my old friends from secondary school. I mentioned them in one of my older posts where it felt like a lot of them drifted away during my cancer diagnosis (on a related side note, I found out it wasn’t specifically me they had drifted away from but rather everyone had drifted away from each other. At some point, every one of them mentioned how they felt people had just kind of disappeared over the past couple of years).
The Art of Happiness
At the risk of sounding like I’ve been paid off for advertising it – and also kind of sounding like one of those spiritual nutbags – I attribute my change in perspective on a book called The Art of Happiness. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a book written by a doctor describing his time spent with the Buddhist monk the Dalai Lama.
My girlfriend bought me the book as a stocking filler one year and I must admit, I NEVER thought I’d read something like it. However – and this is coming from the point of view of someone with anxiety who tends to get so obsessed with his own perspective in his life that he ends of fully focused on himself – this book has really broken me out of my usual behaviours (they have been ‘updated’, if you will………*).
The whole point of the book is that everyone’s goal in life is to find happiness. It addresses things like intimacy, compassion and suffering and explains how all of them are related to the same singular concept: happiness. Just looking at life from that point of view suddenly made what are usually very intimidating situations a hell of a lot more manageable to me, mainly because, in my head, everyone is now on the same playing field. People in authority (who I personally find quite difficult to address) suddenly become, well, normal. Because everyone at the end of the day just wants to find happiness.
It makes conversation so much easier – rather than focusing on what the right thing to say next is, instead I’m thinking “well, they just want to be happy”. It teaches you compassion because you’re thinking about how to make the person happy instead of focusing on your own actions.
Keeping on keeping on
I know that my anxiety will probably follow me for the rest of my life but the least I can do is keep managing it like I have been doing the past few weeks. I’m going to try and continue to keep my positive perspective for as long as I can, hopefully to the point that it becomes second nature rather than having to force myself into it. As the book says at one point, this perspective is something that your mind has to be trained in before it can automatically do it – so I’m guessing it’s going to take a while.
Anyhow, so much for a quick update eh? I’m going to try and make my posts more regular. After all, it was my new year’s resolution to blog more often. In the meantime, I’m going to finish my book (I haven’t even reached the chapter solely dedicated to anxiety yet) and get to some more Pokémon hunting. This bastard Nidoran♂ keeps evading me…
*I’m so sorry.