So, what's on YOUR mind?
It seems like the more my life goes on the more I learn about my own mental health. I’ve lived with mental health problems my entire life, but the past 5 years specifically have been nothing short of a living hell. While this year has been better than the previous 4 years combined, there are times when I feel like I fall right back down to square one. I’ve definitely made more progress towards my own healing since the beginning of the year, but life still hits me hard. It’s a cycle of: Feel Shitty, Mentally Collapse, Feel Better, Realize Some Things, Come Out a Better Person, Forget All Those Things I Learned, Repeat. And in this iteration of the cycle, I realize just how wildly unpredictable my own mental health is, and how unpredictable it can be for anybody. I can go from having really good days to having some really, really shitty days. And I imagine it could be like that for anybody. There is that unknown feeling of if you’re going to be happy you left bed or regretting having woken up in the first place. Even the good days begin by wanting to retreat somewhere safe and calming.
When I wake up I don’t know what type of day it will be. It’s equal parts terrifying and wonderful. On one hand, I battle the anxiety of whether the day will be great or if something horrible will happen, but on the other hand it’s nice to not start the day off terribly like I used to. But it’s also caused me to realize that I have woken up feeling like garbage every day for 5 years and nobody noticed. Sure, there are days when people notice I’m struggling, but for years I struggled and it wasn’t until I mentioned something that people started to realize. And something people have to realize is that there are other people out there who are the same way.
In a general sense people are more patient with me once they realized I wasn’t who I pretended to be. My façade of “Mr. Doesn’t Let Shit Get to Him” has entirely crumbled, and I couldn’t be more thankful since it’s allowed me to really confront my issues, and once people started seeing what a broken soul I really was there was a more gentle approach towards me. All it took was me hitting my breaking point. And I can’t believe it needs to be said, but don’t be shitty to others. You can’t be sure who is struggling, so I don’t understand why we have to wait for them to finally break before we start treating them with the patience that everyone deserves, because my breaking point, for as bad as it was, is nowhere close to as bad as it could be for someone else.
Thank you for sharing, Luke. I feel the same way. Progress isn’t linear and isn’t always sustained which is reality hard for some people to understand. Helpful not helpful comments about take better care of yourself, eat differently etc are meant to be supportive but underline the facts that those offering the suggestions are either at a loss or just have absolutely no understanding of the vortex of anxiety and despair. And talking about feelings is super uncomfortable for some people to listen to also. I agree. Be kind. Always. Just remember to be kind to yourself too. Much love.
It’s a vicious cycle, but even when I’m going through the motions I remind myself that even though I’ve lapsed into my negative mindset I dont view it as a failure. I know I can come through the other side alive just as I’ve done countless times before. You just have to keep pushing.