How I've Learned to 'Weather the Storm' of Mental Illness

It’s interesting. Nine years later and I can still have those days.

Everything can be perfect. I’m fulfilled. Mentally, spiritually and physically. All my needs are met. Trust is given. Promises exchanged. There is nothing warranting concern. And with a steadfast progression, nothing will change.

But then… it unravels.

Usually, I can pinpoint the moment and prevent the fallout. Experience has given me the tools to prevent the chaos. But depression, anxiety and the ever fickle bipolar disorder, somehow, without rhyme or reason, can get to me.

Sometimes, sometimes. Sometimes a person can’t prevent the spiral. It overtakes. It claims me. It grabs hold and refuses to let go. I cannot reason with it. I can’t prove it wrong. I tend to think of it as an uncontrollable and awesomely powerful storm. Thunder echoes. Rain pounds. Lightning strikes. Hurricanes form, tsunamis crash, quakes split the ground — the entirety devastating everything it touches.

This always proves to be an apt metaphor to me.

Really, this is what can happen. My mind can be torn asunder by an uncontrollable force, and while preventative measures can be taken, there can be the occasional exclusion.

When this happens, when the proverbial storm collides with my sensibilities, for me there is only one recourse.

To ride it out.

While I do, I pray the damage is not too catastrophic. That nothing is beyond being fixed.

I have seen many storms. From mild gusts to vengeful squalls, I have weathered them all. I have lost my footing. I’ve been lost at sea. But every time, a certainty arises. As it always has. As it always will.

The storm ends. The sun comes out. And I can see the world as more — much more — than gray skies and despair. The world is mostly beautiful, even if I can’t always see it. And rest assured, I will see it in that light again.

For those like me, please remember to hold your resolve.

Predict. Procure. Prevent. Prepare.

And when all else fails…

Weather the storm.

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Thinkstock photo via thanaphiphat.

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