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3 Ways I Try to ‘Show Up’ for Myself Every Day

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Trying to find a “normal” way of life is a challenge I cannot describe to anyone. I haven’t worked in five years (for various reasons) and having to motivate myself to get up and show up every single day is exhausting. Most of the time, I cannot express myself to anyone and I feel that no one wants to listen to me repeating my struggles.

Here are a few ways I am trying my best not to let the dark side of my mental illness take over.

1. I set small goals.

My head is a constant spinning mess. My thoughts keep running away from me and it feels like I have no control over any part of myself. On most days, some of my speech is slurred because of the side effects of my medication and the rest of my body is so numb that even sending a text message is a hell of an effort. It all feels like such a lost cause when you completely lose your sense of self and just the basic rite of passage to being a “normal” human being. To try and battle all of this, I set myself achievable goals for each day. One of them is to walk my dog every morning. Getting out not only gives her a good start to the day but usually sets the tone for the rest of mine. She is like a moral compass to me; she helps me get out of bed on the days I least feel like it. Setting small goals create small wins. If I mastered the strength to wash my hair or prepare a proper meal for dinner, it is a win. I accomplished small goals despite my struggle; despite the fact that I feel like a loser.

2. It’s OK not to be OK.

Most days are mundane and I don’t have anything to do. I try to keep busy by writing, arts and crafts or reading, but my concentration is so poor that I struggle to keep doing anything for long. I get so frustrated for not being able to work, or have a proper schedule, that I get angry with myself. When I get angry with myself, I break myself down. I tell myself that I am worthless and useless. However, I try to remind myself daily that it is OK not to be OK. That even though this is my life now, it may change. Tomorrow might be a busier day or tomorrow I may feel less agitated or restless. I try to stay calm and to be kind to myself. I wage wars inside my head daily and I am doing the best I can. I am doing the very next thing, one step at a time, and that is a job well done.

3. I check myself into a clinic.

I try to be so aware of my mental health that I will do whatever I need to do to keep myself and those around me safe. Sometimes that means checking myself into a facility where professionals can help me. It can be
a very lonely time and I feel discouraged when I need to do so, but I know that it will help. When I’m at my weakest, I don’t eat or sleep well, and in a safe environment, I can be monitored and helped to regain my strength and become the best version of myself again.

Showing up is hard; it is the hardest task for me. It feels like I’m going to be stuck the rest of my life or that there is something wrong with me. Living shouldn’t be this tough. However, I still try; I still refuse to give up. My life is worth it and I will do whatever it takes to show up for myself.

Getty Images photo via Oleg Lyfar

Originally published: July 2, 2021
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