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But What If... I Start to Use 'But What If' Differently?

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But what if…

Those three small words pack such a mentally-exhausting punch. As someone with depression and anxiety, I tend to use those three words in a negative and worrisome way.

But what if I fail?
But what if I can’t do it?
But what if it doesn’t work out?
But what if the medication doesn’t work?
But what if therapy doesn’t go well?
But what if I want to self-harm… or worse?
But what if this feeling never goes away?

But what if I started to look at things differently? What would happen? Let’s see…

But what if I try?
But what if I can do it?
But what if it does work?
But what if I took the time for self-care?
But what if I start feeling differently?
But what if I learned new coping mechanisms?
But what if I enjoyed life?
But what if I looked at myself the way others tend to see me?

If only I could do this when my depression is at its worst. Unfortunately, things are not as easy as words make them seem. Mental illness is never the same for two people. It isn’t even the same for me most of the time. Life is hard. It has its ups and downs, but I have to remember there is so much more to make it great than the pain I go through from time to time.

I’m not alone. You’re not alone. We’re not alone.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo by prudkov

Originally published: March 26, 2017
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