Let’s not even try pretending that living with a mental illness is easy.
People who don’t experience it don’t get how actually making an appointment and showing up counts as an improvement. Even if you have people in your life who also suffer from mental illnesses, there is never guaranteed resemblance.
We all handle stuff our own way, it’s kind of what makes you different. I have learned so much this year, not only do I feel like I found purpose but I actually know I’m helping others.
When I first started therapy, I was asked to draw my anxiety, right? I drew a time bomb, flowers and then bars around them, basically nothing good. I was in a dark place and had a lot of pain regarding the death of my father.
A few weeks ago, I had to draw memories of my father, I drew all these positive random memories I honestly didn’t know I cherished until then. When asked how I felt I responded that it sucks to lose people but it is inevitable and I honestly hope he is happy and smiling when he looks down at me. I came from ready to give up to a place where I am not healed nor the same person I was but I am this new version of myself. I don’t care if people laugh at me because I need a therapist and medication, I laugh when I get told I’m seeking attention because when you live with mental illness there are so many other things in your head a lot worse than clueless human beings’ opinions.
It’s not something I think will ever go away, but I keep learning how to cope with it better each day and eventually I stopped focusing on getting rid of my anxiety and depression. I tried understanding where they come from to better cope with them. I accepted that they are a part of me, it is obviously not an easy journey for anyone but, instead of rolling in self-pity I decided to look at it as I went through this, I can help others with what I’ve learned and vice versa.
It might sound ridiculous but I decided to embrace what I can’t change. Rather than asking why this had to happen to me, I am asking how I can use it to help others, cope better and be better to myself. I stopped being ashamed of my dark side because we all one, we didn’t ask for it and everyone has a different one. Just because it is dark doesn’t mean it has to be bad. You can take what the darkness taught you and make it bright. This doesn’t happen overnight, it took me years but it is definitely something to look forward to if you are currently still fighting. You will get better, mental illness won’t just vanish but you regain power and instead of it controlling you, you will tell it to just go take a nap you don’t have time for this.
Even if it doesn’t feel like it now, we are all lighthouses and even though they don’t always shine, they always stand tall. You might not realize it now but, you are so much stronger than what that mental illness is convincing you off.
Please take a moment and listen to this, it is where I got the lighthouse reference and even if this is not the type of music you prefer, do yourself a favor and google the lyrics. The band is The World Alive and the song's name is Lighthouse.
Music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3ZF9oZg9A