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The Little Victories of Someone Who's Struggled With Suicidal Thoughts

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Editor’s note: This piece contains language that may be triggering to someone dealing with suicidal thoughts. If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

I’m still ill.

My new medication is doing its job though, and I’ve been feeling better than I have in a long time. Often, when everything seems really disgustingly bleak, it’s hard to see when a light is actually shining through and things are getting better. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of the little things I can celebrate as I try and power through my own depression.

Whenever we’re ill, whatever form that illness takes, getting better is always going to be a process (rather than the “bam! you’re cured” type of image Hollywood is so fond of). The little victories we all have are all going to be different, but if I can do something today that was impossible yesterday, that’s an achievement already.

So, my top things to celebrate:

I don’t want to throw myself off every time I cross a bridge.

When someone says “belt,” I think first of its use to hold up trousers.

Similarly, I see the purpose of my razor as shaving my legs, not anything else.

Showering at least twice a week has become a minimum instead of an ideal.

…so has cleaning my teeth at least once a day

My default internal monologue has become less “I wish I was dead” and more “I wish I was a baby animal” (usually a kitten, but I have a weakness for all sorts of baby animals).

I’m not as obsessed with the numbers on my food packets. I care more about how something tastes than how many calories it has.

I’m remembering to actually take my pills every day (a sign I’m getting better as well as something that makes me better, so the opposite of a vicious cycle. A wonderful cycle?).

My creativity is coming back.

Getting out of bed doesn’t take as long (an average of one to two hours after wake up rather than two to three. Again taking an hour to get out of bed may be a sign of unhealthiness for someone else, but it’s important to remember healthy looks different in different people.

I only let the phone go straight to voicemail on unknown number calls/calls from people I don’t know instead of curling in a tiny ball and waiting for the phone to stop ringing and go away.

And I could go on. There are so many little things that can crop in to make any day better and so many little victories we can celebrate after those tiny precious moments where illness (of whatever kind) does not get the better of us. I can be better, you can be better, we can all be better.

Celebrating the little victories and all the small steps on the way to recovery might just be how we get there.

Image via Thinkstock.

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

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Originally published: July 12, 2016
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