This Is How You Embrace Living With A Mental Illness

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Jeremy Perkins / Unsplash

I know you hate it.

The therapy groups, the psychiatrist appointments, the medication,  perhaps, and the constant reminders that a mental illness is a part of your day to day life.

But I am here to help you slowly come to terms with it and make the most out of experiences that you may deem as less than pleasurable.

I spoke to my hairdresser not too long ago today and I wanted to reschedule my appointment for when I come to see her. She asked me why I decided to change the date and with hesitation, I told her that I had a psychiatrist appointment on that day.

She said to me, her voice getting very candid, Why? Remember where you were at one point? You are getting so much better. Embrace the fact that it is just something you have to do. We do what we have to do to stay well. I don’t want you going back to where you once were so this is a part of what you have to do. In life, we do what we need to do for our own well-being.” 

And she’s right.

All of what I do in my life is only to ensure that I am mentally well. But because of the stigma and the hurt that can often come with acknowledging that you have depression or whatever mental illness it is you face, you can often resist anything that reminds you of mental illness.

You go to therapy with a bad attitude, you suddenly feel low in mood when you have doctors’ appointments, and you constantly ruminate on the fact that you have a mental illness and you often wonder what your life would be like without it. You think to yourself, “How different would my life be if I never had to deal with all of this in the first place. Why me?”

But, you can slowly embrace the fact that it is a part of your life by looking at it all differently.

Such as: seeing your appointments as a blessing instead of a curse.

Think to yourself how fortunate you are that you are actually alive and getting help compared to others who are in dire situations right at this moment.

You can also think of going to therapy as a new experience to embrace as well.

You are meeting different people you can connect with who can give you a broader perspective on your experience and life on a whole. Also, realize that you are actually in therapy! A lot of people who are twice your age wish they could gain the skills needed to help them emotionally and a lot of people actually need therapy to deal with trauma and unresolved issues in their lives.

So at the end of the day, it is all how you look at it.

I know at times it all feels exhausting and you wish mental health issues were not a part of your life, period. That is a valid feeling. But we don’t get to pick and choose our battles in life and the the way you look at things that determines your experience.

You have been on a journey with your mental health from the moment you knew it would impact your life. Instead of looking at the bad, look at where you were and where you are now. There is always a positive if you look for it.

You are not defined by a mental illness. And it isn’t all bad.

Embrace your journey. TC mark

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