Having any mental illness can really suck. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And one of the things that sucks is that there is no cure for it. There are ways that you can manage it, sure, but there generally isn’t a cure. Which sometimes means you have to sit with it.
And sitting with it isn’t fun. It isn’t pleasant. But for me, it is also a chance to grow. I can say, “look, I am sitting with my anxiety and nothing truly bad is happening. Maybe this is another instance of me over reacting to my anxiety, of my anxiety lying to me.” Or I can say, “okay, I feel awful right now, I have no energy, I hurt so much and just want it to end, but I am still breathing. I am still here. This will pass.” For me, somehow, that makes it a little easier.
And I say this because it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot today, a lot last night for sure, because there have been some ups and downs along my mental health journey in the last few weeks. A lot of that comes from the fact I haven’t been sleeping so well, and my anxiety hasn’t been creating the best head space for sleep, but it is there. It isn’t going away. And learning to sit with it and not find it unbearable may make it easier to sleep. Yet the biggest thing that I remind myself is that I have had these feelings before and no matter how unbearable they seemed, the fact of the matter is that I am still here. I am still standing.
And that can remind me, and hopefully remind you, that we are stronger than our mental illnesses because we sat with our mental illnesses and survived. I’ve done, and so can you.