As the depression is defeated by a good night’s slumber, I finally feel mentally well enough to start testing the waters. So, yesterday I made arrangements with a good friend to meet in a small café. After the plans were finalized, I decided that I would make it a commitment rather than a simple arrangement.
This mindset works for me because it feels more like a top priority. While meeting a friend is always a top priority for me, sadly, it’s not always the case for my mental illness.
When it came time to meet, I prepared for our plans. I got in my car and anxiously arrived at the destination. Pretty simple to do, right? Well, no, on the contrary, it can be daunting, with a dose of I-don’t-have-the-mental-energy. So, when I arrived for coffee I felt like I had crossed some sort of finish line.
Thinking back on the muddy waters of depression I had slogged along in just a week before, I was proud that I made it, that I ventured inside and had a very enjoyable conversion over a great cup of coffee with a good friend. Celebrating the seemingly small stuff has yielded big gains as I know that I can once again re-enter the world of the busy.
With that said, I was not stricken with a cure overnight, no miracle had happened that completely set me free from anxiety, depression and PTSD, nor was I expecting that to be the outcome. I know that I am not cured, that my fight with mental illness is far from over; nonetheless, I embrace the immediate victory.
I still jumped at every bang and wail of a siren and as a consequence, I disassociated. however, I was able to keep my wits about me long enough to be present and engage in conversion without feeling like I had to run away.
So, try testing the waters on the days you’re feeling mentally well and celebrate the small victories along the path. Measure success by how far you got on any given task, not on the fact that you may not have made it to your destination or was not able to stay long if you did. Mental health conditions dictate how fast or slow you can go, work within your tolerances, take back your life.