If there’s one thing that having a mental illness has taught me, it’s that I’m one tough cookie. Resilience courses through my veins as naturally as blood flowing. It’s hard to remember that when I’m at my lowest point like I was last week, but when I pull out of the darkness, I’m often reminded of just how strong I truly am. It hasn’t been an easy journey, surviving my life up until this point, but I’ve done it. Here’s a few tips on what’s helped me start to rebuild.
1. I have made it through worse. I often remind myself that I have survived tougher ordeals and made it through when I thought I couldn’t, and while I wanted to give up then, I didn’t. If I could make it through some of that bullshit, I can make it through this stuff.
2. I deserve recovery. Deep in my heart and soul, I know that I’m a good person who practices love and compassion with others, but often forget to do the same with myself. After a few days of being surrounded by others who were in the darkest place of their own minds, I was able to recognize that I too deserve recovery. I am worthy of love and understanding and the best person who could give that to myself was me.
3. I chose hope. While lost in my thoughts, I couldn’t find hope amongst all the troubled images in my mind, but once I allowed myself the time to slow my mind down, I found her. Waiting for me to follow her and get me back on the path to recovery.
4. I threw judgement away. I made a real effort to not judge myself for needing to be in hospital because of my illness and instead accept that it’s part of my journey. Instead of focusing on thinking I was letting everyone down, I reframed it to think of how well I was taking care of myself.
5. I’m choosing to rebuild. I sometimes feel like I’ve carefully crafted my building blocks and then someone comes and knocks them down. I could cry and sit there upset that they’re all over the place but what will that do for me? Instead, I’m choosing to rebuild. This time, it might even be better than what I had before. Each time I get knocked down, it’s an opportunity to rise again and recreate myself into the person I want to be.
Having a mental illness is incredibly challenging to live with. It has challenged me and pushed me to the extreme limits of what I believed I could handle. I’ve learned just how strong I am and how vulnerable I can be. It has brought me to my knees time and time again, but it has also pushed me to soaring heights.
Pass me that cloth. I need to dust myself off again.