First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! It is a time of fresh starts and saying goodbye to what hasn’t been working for us.
Well, tomorrow is the BIG day! It is the first day of my new job. Why is this important, you ask? It is my first full-time job since going on disability in 1998 for Major Depressive Disorder. I am grateful to finally be in a place to not only work in the field that I have dreamed of working in but to also give back…to help others navigate toward their own mental health recovery…to provide hope in an otherwise dark, and discouraging place.
As I begin this new and exciting endeavor, I hope to also write more on the blog about mental health and encouraging words. Our world is full of negative and disouraging messages. These messages do not help us or encourage us. I want to do my part to add some positive, realistic, workable messages to the world. It was difficult for me to find those when I needed them over the years.
If you are going through a rough time and things seem hopeless, all I can say is to not give up hope. If you are feeling hopeless and tired, please reach out to someone. This can be God, a relative, friend, your therapist, the internet…whoever it is…reach out. If you do not have anyone, which there were times when I didn’t feel I had anyone to talk to, there are Warm Lines out there where someone will listen. To find a Warm Line close to you or a toll-free one, visit http://www.mhselfhelp.org/warmlines-index/. A Warm Line is a non-crisis phone line where you can call and talk to someone. To learn more about what it is like to call a Warm Line, check out https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/06/warm-line-expect-call-one/.
I want you to start believing in yourself. Living with a mental illness can be so overwhelming that some of us have been bedbound for days. The secret is to start out simple. What is one simple thing you can do for that day? When I was bedbound, I wish someone had told me this. No, I don’t mean pushing me to do something…that would just make me feel worse. I mean someone who had lived through it themselves, providing me with support and encouragement…start very simply. It is okay for the goal to be as simple as sitting up in bed for five minutes. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. This is how I had to begin my journey toward recovery. I took it slow when I was extremely depressed and I cheered myself on when I made a simple, single step forward. I want you to do the same, if that is what you need to do. Don’t give up…allow yourself to take the time you need. Recovery is not a competition…it is the walk of your life…at your pace.
If you have lived with mental illness, what are some things that have helped you? I’d love to hear from you. Please share.