You are more than a mental illness

After a spin-out with my depression, this past weekend I had “a physical altercation with a 4×4” as I slightly smile and refer to it as. No, I still have not apologized to the 4×4, although I have continually apologized to my hand. Yes, with all the new skills I have learned, the safety nets I have put in place, the resources I have lined up, the people I have on my call list, and more, at the end of the day, it all only works if you choose to use them. That page about willfulness? Yes, I have a lot of mastery in willfulness. Was there a win? Yes, the event did not send me on a spiral down the rabbit hole of “now I did this, I might as well give into my complete worthlessness.” There was some teetering on that tightrope, yet with a lot of deep breathing and refocusing, I picked up my resource list and moved in a safe and healthy direction.

Why do I share this? Am I trying to trigger someone? No. I want you to know that tough days happen. I know this in my rational mind, and I still don’t want to believe it. I want to be all healed, all better. I don’t want to struggle with depression, PTSD, anxiety, and an eating disorder. It makes me angry that the actions of others left me with emotional scars that haunt me while they (appear to) go on in a happy life. And this is where all those things like radical acceptance kick in. You see, somewhere along the line, we got dealt a crappy hand of cards. What I have learned is that are ways to stay in the game, even with the worst hand.

I called my dear friend and talked with her after this past weekend. I shared with her where I had been emotionally. How I had been so frustrated because I had been in a “great” place – happy, excited, feeling good about myself and the world. Heck, I was even ok with the fact that we were experiencing the extremes of apocalyptic weather in the course of 72 hours. Then I woke up one morning and that was gone like someone snapped their fingers and said, “nope, that’s all you get” and took my happiness cards away. I went on to share my many “what did I do” thoughts with her. She reminded me, as I share with you, we didn’t do anything. Mental health issues suck. That’s pretty much the bottom line – they just suck.

You are awesome and amazing. So am I. Our brains misfire at times. Some of us might be on medication to help with that, some of us might be in therapy, some of us might be searching for what works for our lives. Unfortunately, when one of our spark plugs are going to misfire, we usually don’t get a warning light. Sometimes there are triggers, and sometimes there are not. We do the best that we can – do the best that you can. Fight. Learn things to help you make it better. Breathe. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Start to make friends with that part of you that frightens you, that you wish wasn’t a part of you – this is where I am right now. I am starting to make friends with the bully inside of me.

I wish I had the magic healing words. All I can say is, you are not alone. I have felt the joy of life and that “so happy I can’t wait until tomorrow” moments, and I have been at the door of “may this be my last breath” darkness – too many times. I have also won emotional battles that no one will ever know, and for that, I breathe another breath and, even if just with myself, celebrate the moment.

You are more than a mental illness.