Imagine you and your friend both live on an acre of land. They have several decorative crepe myrtles and mostly beautiful green grass, whereas you have an acre of woods. If they have a tree fall in a storm, they may BORROW a chainsaw to chop it up. They have a riding lawnmower and a sprinkler system, but no need to own a chainsaw, you see.
But if one of your white pines falls, you might consider OWNING a chainsaw because…yeah…only this one tree fell, but what about the dozens more that might fall later? You have that sweet path to the tree house on the back of your lot, you need to make sure it stays clear for the kids.
Well, I live on an acre of woods and I only borrowed a chainsaw.
Yesterday I found myself really depressed. Like…I just could not shake my sads. I went for a walk, I did some art, I swung and read and did the things that usually make me feel better and I got so mad and said to myself, “KIM! Biden is President! You were certain life would get better after he won!”
And then I remember what my psychiatrist said when I came to him early in the pandemic because I was struggling to manage my depression and anxiety and I said, “I just need something to help me during the pandemic, I’ll feel better when things go back to normal.” And he said, “You’ve always had anxiety and depression and you always will, don’t set yourself up for feelings of failure by convincing yourself it will go away when the pandemic goes away.”
He was telling me to GO AHEAD AND BUY A DAMN CHAINSAW. Other trees will definitely fall.
Since he told me that I’ve really been trying to reframe my mindset around things like that. Like, I kept saying, “I just need a vacation, then I’ll feel better,” but then what happens when I take my vacation AND I STILL HAVE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION?
It is so hard to convince myself to buy the damn chainsaw and accept other trees are going to fall. I’m just constantly saying things like, “It’s just grief over losing my Dad,” or “It’s just stress taking care of my Mom,” or “It’s just because no one in my house is making money.”
All of these things are triggers for anxiety or depression for sure, but it’s not realistic with a brain like mine to keep telling myself I’ll “feel better” once those things change. Then I won’t take advantage of the sale on chainsaws at Lowe’s. I need to be realistic about my situation and not constantly frame things as “better” in some sort of future I’ve imagined.
BUT DID THAT STOP ME FROM DOING IT THIS WEEK ANYWAY? NO!
I was so depressed and so frustrated because BIDEN WON! Why am I still depressed?
(Because it takes me awhile to really listen to my psychiatrist, evidently.)
I just wanted to put this out there in case you were facing the same problem. If you had subconsciously blamed a Trump presidency for a lot of your mental health problems and then were disappointed to discover that Biden winning didn’t cure it, maybe talk to a mental health professional.
You need a shed full of tools for the land you have. You never know when another tree might fall.