Balancing Helplessness and Hopefulness

There are many symptoms of depression that are frustrating to deal with. Among them, hopelessness is one of the most difficult ones to manage. Hopelessness is a feeling that can sneak up on us. It can be disguised as so many other ways of feeling, and it can be hard to distinguish between other emotions. But to me, living with depression is a constant balance. On one end is the persistence of helplessness; on the other, the optimism of hopefulness. Life can be a constant back and forth between the two, which is what I want to talk about today.

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Getting to Know Ourselves Better

Getting to know ourselves is a lifelong journey – full of twists, turns, surprises and disappointments. What doesn’t matter to us one year could be monumentally important the next, and so on and so forth throughout our lives. I used to think that learning new things about myself was more cinematic. Time would slow down, and my moment of clarity would spring forward. But as with many things in life, perception and reality don’t always link up. We don’t always choose to learn new things about ourselves, and dealing with that can be tricky.

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Sometimes, You Just Need to Cry

Here on My Brain’s Not Broken I have a tendency to write blog posts that serve as reminders. Sometimes they’re reminders that would be beneficial for whoever’s reading the post. Other times, the reminders are things I’ve forgotten long ago, and what I need to hear in the moment. Either way, reminder posts serve a purpose; they can help ground us and help us remember where we are on our journey. So today, I come to you with a specific reminder. Sometimes, you need to feel how you feel – and getting that out is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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Finding More Ways to Reset and Recharge

Recently, I noticed a lot of my posts this summer have focused on resting and recharging. This got me thinking about how this happened. I know people tend to focus on relaxing in the summer, which makes perfect sense. But all year, I’ve had a fixated interest in the concept of rest. At first, I wanted to unlearn the concept of rest that I’d practiced my entire life in favor of something new. But I learned something else invigorating about resting and recharging, and I’d like to share that today.

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Receiving Permission to Feel Tired

I was reflecting on my most recent therapy session when I realized that there was a recurring phrase I was using over and over again. No matter what the topic was or how I felt about it, everything came back to me saying “I’m tired.” Listen – at some point or another, we all get tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally, we are tired and need rest to prepare for what’s next. But the way I was saying it – the tone I was using, the way I thought about it – is what caught my attention, and it’s what I’d like to talk about today.

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Why Do I Always Need to ‘Keep Going’?

There are many ways to combat mental health challenges, and one of them that I’ve been reflecting on recently is motivation. Using motivational techniques has been very helpful when it comes to my mental health. I’ll watch videos, listen to speeches, or find quotes that give me a boost. I want to find things that will give me the energy I need to get through this moment and on to the next. I was doing this recently when I came upon a phrase I’ve seen hundreds of times on the Internet: “keep going.” And I don’t know why, but this time it rubbed me the wrong way. Even though I understand the good intentions of the phrase, I want to challenge it. What does it really mean?

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Five Benefits of Journaling

Earlier this week, I shared a post about the importance of feeling your feelings. Though there are a lot of ways you can do this, one of my favorite ways is through journaling. Journaling slows me down, and gives me time to collect my thoughts and figure out what I’m really feeling. It has a way of cutting through the noise and find what really needs to be shared. Even though I don’t journal as often as I’d like, I’d still recommend it for anyone who hasn’t tried it before. Here are five benefits of journaling!

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Building a Foundation of Memories

Last week, I wrote about the summer and how it’s flying by. This weekend, everything I did reminded me of the classic phrase “time flies when you’re having fun.” While it might feel our lives are moving faster than we can handle, that can also mean we’re doing things we enjoy and are with people we love. And even though those feelings of enjoyment can be fleeting, being intentional about feeling them can actually go a long way toward long-term health and wellness.

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I Am Not My Depression

There’s a phrase I see a lot when I am scrolling through social media or finding mental health resources on the Internet that always gets me thinking. The concept behind them all is that you (or I, or anyone) is “more than” their mental illness. So for instance, I am more than my depression; I am more than my anxiety; I deserve to be known for more than experiencing mental illness. And while I do think it’s a helpful approach to shrinking the stigma, this type of approach – overcoming obstacles, “beating” mental illness – is still difficult for me to manage. That’s why I want to offer an alternative phrase to use today, and see how folks like it.

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Why My Mental Health Makes Me Feel Stagnant

It happens to all of us every now and then — at certain points in our lives, we feel stagnant. We feel like we’re doing too may things and not enough at the same time; we feel like we’ve accomplished so much, but at the same time haven’t accomplished anything of value. And while I have tried to figure out ways to deal with these feelings (keep an eye out for Thursday’s post!), today I wanted to write about how that makes me feel because here’s a secret: part of the reason I feel stagnant is because in many ways, my mental health is improving. And while that can be good, I don’t know what to do with that.

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