I see you sitting there, feeling like you cannot fight another minute. Feeling like you’ll never win the war that is happening inside your mind. Not only do I see it and understand, but I’ve lived it and know how you feel. I know the feeling of being scared to be alone in case more horrible thoughts creep into your mind about your weight, your worth, your emotions, your value. Every thought in your mind is under speculation, and no one knows when they will turn to the dangerous side. I know what it’s like to be sad, angry, and lonely for no definable reason. It is scary and relentlessly constant. You feel like you’re failing at living and there is no way out. The fight feels exhausting and the illness feels too powerful. However, I have news for you.
You’re doing enough.
Trying is enough. Trying to change your mindset is winning the war.
Trying to overcome your own mind is enough.
Living with mental illness is hard. It is an endless battle between being happy and being realistic. It is plastering a fake smile on your face when all you want to do is scream. People think that one good day means you’re fine now. Everything is cured and you’re going to be back to the “happy you”. We know that this isn’t true, and nothing hurts more than the look on your loved ones face when you come crashing down again. We just want to yell “I’m trying! This is me now—can’t you understand that?”
The main misconception with mental illness is that it’s like a cold that can be cured. In reality, it is something that will follow us forever, even after we beat it. Sure, we fight it, there are great days and weeks and months, but it’s always there, always lingering like a bad smell waiting for you to relax enough that it can sneak back in. It thinks it can eventually win, but we know better.
Mental illness doesn’t get to win, because every day you fight is a win for you. Even the days when things seem impossible, when there is no light and you just let the bad wash over you, you’re still winning. You are making the choice to take a break; you are making the choice to let it overtake you for a short while. At the end of the day, you made that choice, and therefore you have won.
It is these winnings that show ourselves we are doing enough. We have to learn to find the beauty in the tiny victories. The beauty in doing what we can at that moment to get by. The beauty in fighting, or relaxing, or being centered. We find the beauty in the little things, and this is where the winning is centered.
Mental illness wants you to believe that you’re failing. It wants you to think that unless you show perfection, you are showing failure. It thrives on making you think that you are losing and not worthy of feeling happy and content. One must always remember that mental illness is an asshole. It lies, cheats and steals. It is not the voice to listen too; it is not the feeling to follow. It is the bad influence in your life that you overcome and tell to go away.
That is the key to fighting mental illness, it’s knowing that you can beat it and you are doing enough. Do you hear me? YOU CAN BEAT IT AND YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH. YOU CAN BEAT IT AND YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH. YOU CAN BEAT IT AND YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH. Write that down, make it your mantra, and remember it, because it is so important.
Every day with mental illness is a fight. Every bubble of thought needs to be analyzed and debated on its level of accuracy. It’s a hard job, but you are tough enough to beat it. I know that you are, because you’re trying. You are strong enough to get up every day and say, “No, this will not beat me,” and that is winning. Sure, some days go less than as planned. Some moments catch you off guard and you let your illness shine through. That’s okay, though. That is the beauty of your journey. You are trying to overcome, and that is so much more than enough.