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10 Daily Encouragements for the Person in Mental Illness Recovery

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As I’ve gone through this journey of struggling with demons and slowly, inching my way toward recovery, there are a few encouragements I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me. I hope, by sharing them, they will help you, too.

1. You are not alone.

Whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re going through, be it stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or any issue. You are not the only one struggling with it. I promise. There are people who love you, care about you and want you to live and get better. I am one of them.

2. Your track record of getting through bad days is 100 percent.

You can get through today. And guess what? You can get through tomorrow, too.

3. The day is only 24 hours.

That thought has gotten me through so many days, especially when I wake up depressed or anxious. It gets to the point where I’m literally counting down the hours and minutes until I can crawl back in bed and start a new day. 24 hours. You can do this.

4. Following that: Tomorrow is a brand new day.

Yes, it might feel like the same crap that you dealt with yesterday, but it is still a brand freaking new day. A new day to have an adventure, to smile more, to find another tool to help, to be a bit more or less productive than yesterday. It’s a new chance. It’s up to you what you decide to do with it and whether or not you decide to take the chance and do something new.

5. You are brave, strong, courageous and a damn fine warrior!

You have been fighting your demons for what seems like forever. Some of you have been fighting for decades. Think about that! You have been fighting for years and haven’t given up or given in yet. Bravo! You are strong, much stronger than you thought you were, before this war began. You have fought every day, and you will continue to fight every day until you have won. That, my dears, is incredible bravery.

6. Your struggle does not define you.

Yes, your demons have a rather large impact on your life. Yet, I don’t say, “I’m Kalie, I’m depressed.” No, I say, “I’m Kalie, I have depression.” See the difference? Your demons, your struggle, your war does not take away from the awesome, amazing, wonderful, incredible person who you were before the war and who you are now! It is something you deal with, but it does not define you.

7. It will get better.

I know it’s hard to believe, when you’re stuck down in the crap, the muck, the pain and the dark, that it will get better. I promise you this, it will. Your present situation is not your final destination. You are heading toward something a million times better than what you are going through right now. Diamonds have to go through intense heat and intense pressure to be made. Just think, when you’re going through an extremely rough time that you’re becoming a diamond.

8. You are not perfect.

I know right now you’re probably thinking, “How is that an encouragement?” Well, that’s because no one is perfect, so you’re in great company! Martin Luther King Jr wasn’t perfect. David Bowie wasn’t perfect. Robin Williams wasn’t perfect. Alan Rickman wasn’t perfect. I am far from perfect. The President isn’t perfect, nor is the King or Queen. There is not one single solitary person who is perfect in the entire earth. So, please do not think you have to be perfect because you don’t. I know that with the demons lying and screaming at you, you feel far from perfect. And you know what? That’s perfectly OK. No one is asking you to be perfect. Well, I’m not at any rate, nor are your brothers and sisters who are fighting alongside you. You don’t have to be perfect. I promise.

9. Count your blessings.

Honestly, that helps. Your only blessing may be that you’re alive, but that in itself is indeed a blessing! Your blessings may include a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in your belly, a warm bed, shoes on your feet and running water. They may include a family who is taking you in, a friend who checks in on you every single day, your therapy animal, your children or your husband or wife. You have blessings all around you. All you have to do is look, and they will appear.

10. You are going through this for a reason.

I don’t know what that reason is, and trust me, I would give anything to know why we are struggling and fighting. However, there is a reason. Maybe the reason is to help you cultivate your inner strength. Maybe it’s to show you that even though you may not love yourself, you are loved by many others. Maybe it’s to teach you to train your mind to think of positive things. Maybe it’s to show you that when you reach rock bottom, you can pick yourself back up. Maybe it’s to help you get in touch with yourself and to help you figure out who and what you really are. I don’t know. However, I do know no one struggles alone, and no one struggles for no reason. There is purpose in the struggle, and if you really, really look for it, there may even be peace.

Stay strong, dear ones.

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Image via Thinkstock.
Originally published: December 14, 2016
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