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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tierson

When Life Gives You Lemons

We've all heard the saying: 

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."


But what happens when life is going fine.....but your brain keeps throwing lemons at you?


Dog, Puppy, Doggo, Phoenix, Lemon, Natural Light, When life gives you lemons

      Anxiety and depression are no freaking joke and the way they can hit you is almost romantically comedic. My life can have everything going swimmingly, but for some reason I'll be stuck *QUITE LITERALLY* on the floor feeling like I'm made of lead. I swear, it is like my brain throws lemons at my internal body and laughs maniacally while I quickly try and make lemonade without the use of my hands. It's just lemons bobbing up and down the inside of my body at that point! 


So. What do you do when your brain keeps throwing lemons at you?

You spend a lot of time not being productive. 


     Whether being on medication or not, I've never been able to jump back quickly from a bout of depression or a series of anxiety attacks. It takes tremendous strength to do small daily tasks and anything bigger seems impossible. Piles of clothing tend to become mountains. Dishes seem never ending. I even loose the will to cook and eat. If I wasn't married to an encouraging and understanding man, I would lock myself in a room to get away from everyone. [To be clear. I do still lock myself away from it all....but with his help, I can re-enter the world a few hours at a time.] 


How to get your brain to not be a d-bag?

Not possible. All brains are horrible.


      It has been my experience that anxiety and depression will never completely go away. I may have a good amount of time where I don't have anxiety attacks or that I'm not completely emotionless and unmotivated from depression, but it does always return. When it does, I just have to ride it out, and when it's near the end I can sometimes get a little bit of footing. One thing that really helps me get off the floor and "snap out of it" is petting my dog. My dog may not be a well-behaved therapy dog, but he sure is adorable and loves to cuddle. Physical contact, like petting my dog or being held by my husband, seems to takes away some of the disassociation. Given enough time, I am able to get up and fake it until I make it.


What can be done with all of those lemons? Make lemonade?

No. Make compost.


      That's right. Those thoughts do NOT go away. They do not get sweetened and diluted. They get to sit. They get to rot. And when it's time they transform into something useful. The hardest part about anxiety and depression [for me] is realizing that my negative mantras, all of my worries, fears, and insecurities, can become positive mantras. 


I don't have a job ⇒ I can apply wherever I want for a job

I don't have a home ⇒ I get to spend a lot of time with family

I haven't started any of my creative projects ⇒ I have time to start all of my creative projects


      Once these positive ideas take root, creativity and confidence can begin to grow and blossom again. That kind of turn around can take a while. However, the end result tends to be stunning.

So yes, I did just turn that old "when life gives you lemons" saying into a hipster gardening metaphor.

But, now the lemons can help some flowers grow. And honestly, I'm okay with that. 

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