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To Anyone With a Mental Illness Who Thinks They Accomplished 'Nothing' This Decade

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I see you. The new year is fast approaching. The start of a brand new decade. They’ll light it up with style. It seems everyone else is making lists of all the things they have accomplished these past 10 years.

And all you can think about is how you barely survived.

As great as past New Years’ resolutions resolved and boxes on bucket lists checked off are, I don’t want you to overlook the greatest thing of all: You’re alive. You made it. You have come this far.

We are at the end of a decade, yes. And you’ve survived another year. That’s a win.

I proudly raise a glass to you for every roadblock, every tear drop, every fumble along the way you have overcome. Who else can say that? Even if it wasn’t your intention, even if you feel like you barely tried, like you found yourself here by chance, you have still made it. I see you.

We all our walking along our own timeline, each reaching milestones at our own pace. We needn’t measure our worth by the success of others, for we do things, we accomplish things, in our own time. It’s OK if your friends seem to be making strides daily while you can barely keep your head above water. It’s OK if you feel like you’re struggling to keep up. We all struggle at some time. You are enough. I want you to know being alive in any day and age, in the face of utmost adversity, is the greatest feat of all. And look at you. Still here. Raise your glass higher, dear.

And let’s not forget the old saying, “All things in time.” We will achieve our goals when we are able. And you aren’t any less capable for achieving them at a rate that seems a bit more sluggish than others you know. I won’t ever let you think that about yourself. Speed is overrated anyway, don’t you think? Let’s take a moment, slow it down, take a breath.

I wish you could see the good I see in you. If you could consider perhaps even the possibility that you are good and worthy of all things good. Understand that you may have been dealt a crappy hand but your life does not have to follow suit. It can be magnificent and grand. It can be contentment and peace of mind. I’m telling you just making it through this past decade is a phenomenal start. I really am proud of you.

Lord knows life isn’t easy. And having a mental illness such as bipolar disorder validates that fact in ways I wish I never had to experience, ways I’m sure you wish you never had to experience either. But it does not invalidate your value as a human being nor the importance of your life. There is a reason you’re still living. Be it chance, luck or destiny. You’re here. That means something.

I won’t beg for your happiness and plead for you to celebrate when the clock strikes midnight. But I will ask you to recognize one thing. You have made it. You are alive. You have made it.

If anything matters at all, it is that you are alive today, reading this. And I thank God you have made it.

Again, raise a glass to that. You matter.

I see you.

Getty image via Ridofranz

Originally published: December 28, 2019
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