Hello, and Welcome, back again with my advice and outlook on returning to life after a mental illness*. A guide to Coming Back.
*To clarify mental illness isn’t something that disappears, and I will always have anxiety as a massive part of who I am, not by definition of me, but it shall be there. However severe mental illness, bouts, phases, relapses, whatever you wish to call them, really stop you from functioning and living. So much so that when you are ready, for me at least, I feel like I am starting again, returning to life.
Life is super scary, it is filled with unexpected unfortunate and fortunate events. Things change, and we must embrace the change and look to ways to make ourselves happy where we are, or, change things so we can be. I feel ready to function again to pick up my diary and start adulting again, making commitments. However, I am very aware that I must have the right outlook on this otherwise my progress, and my happiness shall deflate like a balloon that is no longer tied. Flying around the room, up and down, destructive and unpredictable.
I am looking to learn to drive, get a job, get a tattoo… amongst other things and those three things alone could go dangerously wrong. So…
Below are my top tips, my mantras, and my ways of looking forward to a happy future that is healthy, and that keeps my anxiety low in the most parts. This brings me to number 1.
Never think you no longer have the capacity to go back to the place you have been. Never forget the pain, remember it, and fight to live a life that doesn’t feel the same kind of pain again. As easy as it is to want to forget, your past is a part of you, learn from it.
Pace yourself, yet trust yourself. I shall say again life is a battle to find balance. You are ready, do not doubt yourself when your head tells you that, but do not rush to do everything at once, having to pace yourself does not make you weak, it makes you strong enough to know yourself, and brave enough to trust the process.
Do not be afraid to say NO. In pacing yourself you might find yourself faced with opportunities that you need to say NO to. This is okay, and it doesn’t mean you are not better, it means you are strong enough to keep yourself heading in the right direction. Self-care, self-preservation arguably, is not selfish.
Embrace your fear, your nerves and anxious mind. Going back to a life filled with commitments is scary, you should be nervous. Embrace this feeling as human, crippling anxiety may be unnatural, but anxiety is not. Do not run away from everything that makes you nervous, some things should. ..
Ask questions. Another thing that can be scary is asking questions, but it is okay to probe if you know that the answer to the questions may impact you. Asking questions to take care of yourself and your mind is a good thing, do not feel obliged to simply nod and watch life run away with you. You always have a choice.
Be honest, positively honest. As I said above, your past is not something you should forget, you should not be ashamed to share your truths, but do not look back in anger. It is important you are positive and look forward, do not fixate on what was, look to what is coming.
Do not put pressure on yourself. We are our own worst enemies is how the saying goes, and it is true, you must look to yourself with love and care. Accept what is the now and do not pressure yourself and start wishing days away.
KNOW THAT FAILURE IS IMPOSSIBLE. If you do your best nothing you do is inadequate. Each step you take is a step to be celebrated.
I am trying my best to remember and most importantly take my own advice, maybe it will be easier for you too, that’s how it usually goes. I simply know how important it is to keep my mind aware of where I am, where I am going and where I have been.
Comment your top tips for recovery, for tomorrow?…
‘ If you do not look forward to happiness remembering what made your past so dark you are either stupid or naïve. ‘ – Me.
Today Tomorrow Forever,