In one of my nights of fitful sleep, I resorted to giving up and pulled out my phone, Googling ways to overcome anxiety. I stumbled across a BuzzFeed post, in which the author tried out several techniques to improve her sleep. Some were the usual ones and after a decade of sleep problems, I had tried out most of them. Lavender, baths, sleep routine, leaving phones out of the bedroom, writing a diary. All of them, I also exercise on the regular and avoid caffeine. But one was new to me which I’ve since adopted, focus on the positive, gratitude diary or what are you thankful for?
OCD, depression and anxiety can fight fast to the end of the day, leaving you exhausted and hopeless without a positive thought in your mind. Nonetheless I resolved to think of something positive, not general things like I am thankful for my family but super specific like I am thankful for the first bite of a doughnut I’ve been saving all day, reaching the top of a hill on a run or a stranger smiling at me on a train. They are all reasons to believe that when in the grips of an attack all is not lost, there is light in the world. There remains, no matter how dark it gets, reasons to smile, reasons to keep fighting and reasons to stay.
Some days it’s difficult, Sunday as a lay sobbing on the bathroom floor arguing with my mind that in the throws of intimacy, I am not really a paedophile, there seems little to warrant carrying on, but then I cuddle my cats and I’m thankful for their silent patience.
It’s a simple task most days and it’s made my world lighter as I begin to see the positive in more things. I started writing them down in my diary each night, ending my day with a smile of something good that happened. Letting the light win each night before I settle to sleep, I’ve now started sharing them on Instagram and Twitter, sharing light with those around me. Yesterday I was sat eating grapes and I thought, I’m thankful for being able to eat healthily and the strength it is giving me, last week it was a massive doughnut, juxtaposed but the smile was the same. Feel free to take a look, I’m @SerenaModen on all social media – perk of having an unusual name is not needing to share handles and start thinking each day, what are you thankful for?
I’m always happy to receive comments from individuals, however, I am not a mental health professional so if you need support, there are some links on my contacts tab.