How Changing My Perspective Helped Me Cope With Mental Illness

Vladimir Agafonkin

I can’t sleep, because I know I have to get up in three hours.

I’m tired and I had grand plans for tomorrow, but as I toss and turn in frustrated sleeplessness, it’s becoming apparent that none of my adventurous schemes will see fruition. At this point, there’s no possible way.

I could get upset. I could sulk and pout and indulge in bad habits and self-pity. I could lament the fact that this happens more often than I’d like.

The thing is that if I do that, I’m running headlong down an endless, pointless path. I could let myself feel that way about pretty much everything. I could feel discouraged that I’m still not quite where I want to be career-wise. I could get upset about the fact that I’ve yet to find that life partner I’d so love to adventure alongside. I could find something negative in every aspect of my life – if I still surrendered to that sort of mentality.

But I don’t. I left that way of life behind and I make a choice every day to let it remain firmly in my past. It’s not easy, but it’s the only way I survive.

You see, there are always alternative options. I can choose to recognize the small successes and tiny moments of growth in each and every day and note how they continue to multiply. I can acknowledge the fact that I’ve grown into a strong and mature adult woman who believes in herself and knows what she wants. I can see my current persistent single status as an opportunity to focus completely on what I want to achieve for myself in other areas. I make these choices each and every day, even when it’s tough, even when I feel like wallowing and telling the world to shove off. When I sense desperation or depression creeping back in, I squash them with ever ounce of determination I have. That’s my only viable choice.

So I’m going to take tomorrow as it comes. I can make different and equally enjoyable plans. I can attempt my previous goals another time. I can view this as an opportunity to practice patience, flexibility and self-love. There’s no point in ruining the day because it’s not going to be exactly as I envisioned. Instead, I will trust in the idea that there is a reason for every missed opportunity and find peace in whatever alternative I end up choosing. It’s all about perspective. TC mark

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