Happy Mental Monday Everyone! For this week’s blog post I would like to continue talking about mental illness, how living with mental illness has had such an impact on my life, and how it is very much possible to overcome the struggles that come with being mentally ill. As always, please feel free to leave any responses or questions you may have in the comment section below, because I truly would love to interact with all of you who read my blog. Thank You and I hope you enjoy this week’s Mental Monday blog post.
If you read my Enduring the Darkness Part One, you would of known that I have spent my entire life living with mental illness, but unfortunately for most of that time I was either unofficially diagnosed or improperly diagnosed (which I believe is even worse). I have tried countless medicines, therapists, forms of therapy, and nothing seemed to truly help.
That is until about a year and a half ago when I met my current therapist James, and everything began really changing for me. Mainly because, for the first time ever, I felt like I had met a therapist who wasn’t concerned about getting paid, but instead really trying to help make a difference. Unfortunately, for most of this past year and a half, I was also seeing a psychiatrist, who had me try multiple doses of certain medications, and who I felt never really had a true interest in helping me get better. However, I have discontinued seeing them and am now part of the medical cannibas program. I have only just officially become part of it, so I don’t feel comfortable discussing it that much at this time; but I can say, that I’ve already begun to see some very positive changes and I am super excited for this new journey I am on.
Now, I am not saying that the medical cannibas program will work for everyone or that I have the all the answers for how to successfully live with mental illnesses such as: depression, anxiety, insomnia, bipolar spectrum, and post traumatic stress disorder, but I do believe I have figured out most of what works for me. I still have a long way to go and a lot of growing still to do, however, I am very proud of the progress I have made thus far. I also enjoy writing and sharing my story with others in hopes that someone may read my blog posts, be able to relate to what I am talking about, and that can make a world of difference for someone struggling with mental illness.
Since I have lived most of my life being aware that something is “different” with my emotions and how I respond to certain things, I’ve been able to figure out other ways to cope and get through the more difficult times; and let’s be real those can be quite frequent. I’ve learned that writing is my best friend when it comes to coping with my depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. I’ve also discovered that music has been a HUGE help to me, because I will literally get lost in the music, and before I know it I will have been able to calm down and re-center myself. I know that for others meditation or yoga is a huge help as well, however, I find that working out like going for a long walk or doing some kickboxing (depending on the set of emotions I may be feeling), is much more useful for me. It can be a bit of struggle for me to calm my mind, which I feel is something very necessary while doing meditation or yoga. However, it is a goal of mine for this upcoming year, and as I continue to gain even better control over my mental illness, to get more into yoga, pilates, and guided meditation.
Furthermore, since I am about to be thirty one, and I’ve been struggling with mental illness all my life; I’ve also learned in this past year and half, that I can overcome the predestined path suggested/expected for one who suffers from mental illness. I’ll be the first to admit that it has been anything but easy, as well as a whole lot of trial and error. However, looking back on all of it, I can now confidently say that it was completely worth it.
For me, this is the most important part of the message I am trying to share. It is the part that seems the most unattainable to someone struggling with mental illness. And it can also be the hardest part because, it requires trust and faith/hope; which in my life experience, is not something found in abundance within someone with a chemical imbalance. Believe me, this is not by choice by any means; but is instead due to the sad reality of living everyday feeling like there is something wrong with you, but not understanding what that even means. Also being stuck wondering why any of this is happening to you, or feeling like no one else understands you or can relate to you. Living every single day with these struggles leaves you completely drained and with very little belief that anything will ever change; yet alone the possibility of of it ever getting any better.
I know that I say this quite often and to some might sound like a broken record; but when trying to be relatable to others, I try to think about the things that I wish I heard when I felt all alone. And the one thing that I constantly come back too, is hearing from someone who has gone through similar ups and downs like I have, and dealt with similar struggles like I have, that it will be okay and that I CAN/WILL overcome this. I am not saying that those who haven’t gone through some of the things I have cannot relate or be empathetic, I just know for me personally, it’s much easier to believe in something if that individual has gone through similar situations.
And even though I can’t sit here and give you an exact amount of time until things will start getting better, I can offer this: the darkness for those struggling from mental illness is very real and very often. However, I was able to endure and hold on for a little bit longer. And I truly believe that because I did, I slowly began to see the light. Now, as I continue on my path of recovery, each day, that light grows more and more. So as corny as it may sound….“I will continue to endure the darkness, for it truly does show me the light”.