Mental illness is wicked in many ways. One of those wicked ways is that it will convince your own brain to lie to you. It will convince you that people you know love you don’t, that you are alone when you aren’t, and that you shouldn’t get help, when you really should. So it can be particularly helpful to have something solid to ground you during these lies, which is why I am so excited about my new ring.
The ring has the Serenity prayer engraved in it. For those who don’t know it, the prayer says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.” It is popular with alcoholics anonymous and other 12-step programs. It is also a favorite of mine.
Because I can’t control the fact that I have a mental illness. I can’t control the way my brain processes serotonin or the fact that my anxiety disorder thinks a crowded train is for some reason a life threatening situation. I can’t change those unfortunate realities. But I can change how I react to them. That is what cognitive behavioral therapy is all about. It is also what the serenity prayer is all about, which is why I am now wearing it 24/7. It will be a constant reminder to me in the darkness.
There is no right way to handle mental illness. For me, having constant physical reminders like this one are helpful. But I would love to hear from some of you about what you do to ground yourself during the hard moments of mental illness. Feel free to comment below or reach out through the contact page. I would love to hear from you.
And as always, thanks for reading.