I never used to know anything about mental illness. I never even realised that stress and depression were so common and could be so overwhelming strong, manifesting into physical symptoms. I did not think or know that I could ever suffer in such a consuming way. I have been hurt many times, but I never expected my mind to turn on me.
I have however learnt that it is possible to live with depression, stress or other mental illness. There are genuine steps you can take to cope and not just coping mechanisms such as drugs and self-harm. You can realise the signs. You begin to recognise causes and negatives. You understand the things which lead you to regress.
This week, I fell out with two of my closest friends. I knew how this would make me feel. Isolated. This scared me. When I am isolated, I turn to extreme measures. I cry out for help to anyone that is listening. However, yesterday I identified the problem and rather than writing something depressing that would make me feel worse, I decided to conquer all of it and then write how I did it. You see, this world and everything about it is all in how we perceive it.
So I identified the destructive beliefs in my mind. These come in three forms:
- unhealthy beliefs about ourselves
- unhealthy beliefs about others
- unhealthy beliefs about the world
I was lacking the belief that I could conquer my feelings and that was not true. I doubted for a section. I thought that I would feel isolated if I did not have another person. Loneliness is just a sign that you are in desperate need of yourself. I also forgot that everything I need and have always needed is in me. It does not come from another. I am a whole, complete, perfectly designed person. I always question what made me this way. Why am I broken? Look at me, though. I am not broken. I am beyond strong. I am the millions of shattered pieces that I keep picking up along the way and dragging with me using all the strength I have. I do not feel sorry for myself. It may sound big to say, but I am in awe of myself and why should I not be? I am here to make my life and the lives of those around me better. I cannot do that if I am focusing on misfortunes, because they are a part of life and they made me.
The world does not owe us anything. Most people do not learn this early enough. They think that life is all about success and when you cannot achieve that, or your goals, you are left with disappointment. I do not believe in goals. It is all about the journey. I, of course, make plans, but I do not let them overwhelm me. If they are unattainable, it is not a disaster. It just means that there is another path for me to take, maybe far better. As long as I am continuing to learn and move forward, I remain positive.
I am still learning from when I was a child, being told I was irrelevant. I have never been good retaining my power. I always give it away. I let others put my down. I leave them to define my worth. I have choices, which I make and I accept the consequences, positive and negative, that they may bring. Most importantly, I do not regret. I do not look back, because I am human and I make mistakes. I will always work things out and apologise if I am wrong. I will always remind myself that nobody controls me. I am an adult, living in a free country and whilst I may not feel like one, I sort of have been for a very long time now. I have been the only one looking out for me and making decisions long enough to be mature. I take responsibility. There are no ‘have to’s in this world. That is my favourite thing to say after all – no. It may make them hate you, resent you, be disappointed in you, but no, it will make you strong. No is the step to deciding on your own. It is doing whatever you want to do. I am a free spirit. A wanderer. I am always told off for my random straying. I converse with strangers. I explore unknown places. I like to learn. I just do whatever feels right. Whatever I want and whatever makes me happy.
My happiness, it is impacted on my others and events and surroundings, but it is rooted deep within me. There is no deeply unhappy person here. There is no resentment. There is strength. Mental strength. The world gives and takes away. I have accepted that. It is no big deal to me, because this journey, this life, it is a special one. Not many learn and discover all that I have. Before, I know it, this life will be over and in the most gentle and slow of ways, I will have done all that I was intended to. I would have learnt and that thought, that makes me proud. I am grateful for this life, even if I do not say it enough. I am confident in my sadness, but there is no pity party here. There is acceptance. There is strength.