The Hard Truths About Life With Mental Illness

OK, real talk. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of feeling shitty all the time. I’m tired of always reading the situation, watching and waiting for anxiety to pounce. I’m tired of depression ruining a good week. I’m tired of feeling short-tempered and cranky because my moods change so frequently and intensely.

I hate that insomnia and I have become reluctant friends, and sleep and I aren’t talking. I hate hating myself. I hate blaming myself. I hate hurting. I hate hurting others because I’m hurting. I hate seeing my relationships hurt and fall apart. I hate not having energy or interest in much, if anything. I hate fighting, and I hate losing.

Almost every day now, I convince myself recovery is a pipe dream. I see where I’ve been, I see where I am and I see how many millions of miles away recovery is. I know it’s not getting any closer. I’m not getting any better. I’m getting worse, and I’ve been getting worse for a long time.

I’m not saying this to throw my own pity party. I’m saying this, here in this space, because I know you’ve said it too. At least once, maybe many more times than that. We all know mental illness sucks big time. It’s a fact of life. However, knowing this, knowing what we face every day, knowing what we’ve gone through and knowing what we will go through is just going to be as bad if not worse, makes us some bad ass warriors.

So, yes. This sucks. We can go ahead and throw the blame around on God, genetics, the environment or our upbringings. The fact remains that we are stuck with these illnesses — but, we have learned to live with them.

We have learned how to celebrate our good days and manage our bad days. We have learned what helps and what doesn’t. We have learned how to cohabitate with these snakes in the grass. We have indeed made progress from where we were.

So, even if we have a million miles to go toward recovery, we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “Even if I only take one small step today, I got this.” We do indeed got this because we are finding our strength every day. We are fighting every day. Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, we are indeed winning every single day. We got this.

Stay strong.

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