[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have had this idea buzzing around my head for what feels like forever but I couldn’t find the right words for my title, which held me back from beginning the post. As it seemed silly to write about the ‘good’ aspects of my suffering and after what was realistically a week I settled with lessons as it seems slightly less idiotic in choice. Though ultimately these lessons have been the silver linings of my suffering and are all things that I am grateful for, especially at such a young age. I shall begin my post now I have clued you all in.
Anxiety has been a huge part of my life for the past year and tackling my mental illness has been an undeniable focus for me. As my mental illness is and has been all-consuming. It has done what all pain does and taught me things I would never have been taught otherwise. So I wanted to share these things with you, especially because I think it is important and invaluable to make sufferers realise that the fog of mental illness does still have a silver lining. Admittedly even I am unsure whether it is worth it but it is there so I have realised it is something I must graciously be thankful for.
- Always be empathetic and if you cannot do that be sympathetic. I have learnt that in life it means the world for those who are in pain to have the comfort of a caring companion or stranger. It is invaluable the impact that such kindness of sympathy and empathy can have on someone on a dark day. I know it is hard to act in such way when the person in question has wronged you but that is when it is most important that you prevail such attitudes. Learn to look past the wrongdoing and become your simplest version of self… become human.
- Never make assumptions, prejudgments or accusations. This is something that I think we know all our lives we should do, yet we also fail to persevere with such willpower to do so. As I have been suffering from anxiety and depression and as it has worsened, as I have gone out or as I have reached out it has become clear to me that I am now the one wishing for my story to become your thoughts. I have gone out with a blanket wrapped around me though the weather is perfectly manageable with a jacket and been that person who realises how important it is not to jump to conclusions about anyone. It has become easier for me since to avoid what feels like the human nature of judgement yet it is still a task and that has also highlighted to me how often I have made the mistake of being so naive in a world that has so many curses and spells its casts on the unworthy.
- Never take anything for granted. I am not referring to money and materialistic items, in this case, I am referring to what I shall call freedom. My anxiety is what I would describe some days as a lead attached to a metal peg on the floor. I can only go so far no matter how hard I fight. Other days my lead is attached to a stubborn owner and I can fight my way out but only so far. And one day in the future that lead will just be a collar and my only challenge will be ensuring I don’t get lost and don’t find myself stuck on another devils lead. I hope that metaphor makes as much sense to you as it does to me. I guess in summary I shall never take the simple pleasures of fetching some shopping, going to buy a birthday card and going for a meal for granted. As I will remember the days when stepping out my front door felt like strangulation and sitting in a restaurant will forever feel like a dream.
- SELF LOVE is important, not selfish. I for the rest of my life will practice self-love daily and I will ensure that I allocate time in my life to keep my mind and body strong. I will notice the signs of torment in my mind and I will take the time to make looking after myself the priority of my tomorrow. Similarly, I will love myself by learning to say No without guilt. I am going to spend the rest of my life as a happy as I can be and if that means denying the invitation for a Sunday morning coffee and chat I will not feel guilty because learning to look after myself is the most important thing I can do. I cannot support and love others if I do not give myself the time to love myself.
- You are allowed to have bad days… or just days. It is perfectly normal to have days where you feel deflated like a balloon and need to simply sleep and nurture yourself with pity. As long as you remember that when tomorrow comes you must pick yourself up. Allow yourself sadness, pain and suffering as expecting a forever filled with happiness is as foolish as expecting a forever filled with pain. Also as well as allowing yourself bad days allow others to also dwell in their sadness and do not pick them up instead scratch there back and watch them pick themselves up tomorrow.
I am certain I could continue this list, however, I shall stop at a nice round number with the most important lessons I have learnt. For others suffering from a mental illness or who have suffered, I would love to hear what your suffering taught you in the comments below.
I know my tomorrow will come and my anxiety will become a manageable demon and my future will be far brighter than my past, but until then I have enough. I cherish these lessons and my new-found sympathy and I shall spend the rest of my life practising.
I shall leave you with my last piece of advice keep going.
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Today Tomorrow Forever