As 2020 draws to a close, I reflect on the slow progress and how I coped.
As we enter the last few days of 2019, I can’t help reflecting on the last twelve months. For me, it’s time to evaluate successes and re-live the fond memories made; it’s also a time to reflect on my mental wellness journey and what it looks like. it was a slow go, but I crawled to the end.
Although there were some wonderful memories made and some great laughs with some good friends, it has been a year of slow progress and disappointments. In fact, in many ways, this has been the most unproductive year of my life.
Sadly, it turns out that my recovery from PTSD has been painfully slow and fraught with challenges. Most notably is the ineffectiveness of the medications. I have a pre-existing medical condition and its treatment for it renders most SSRIs useless. So my pharmaceutical options were very limited. I am very grateful for the psychiatrist I have for all the time and effort that has gone into helping me.
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It wasn’t all bad.
Despite zero signs of a return to normalcy any time soon, and a not-so-productive year, I have been trying. I have made a commitment to not sit here in my home and become consumed by my mental illness. Sure, there are days, even periods of time. where I can’t leave but I will always get out there; it’s essential to any progress I make.
You have a choice where to put your energy.
I see progress as just that – progress. And given the difficulty of my case, I’m pleased to be moving forward. Whether it’s been made in therapy, with mindfulness or putting plans in place to see a friend for coffee and a chat.
Looking back, I see that these things were how I survived the year; I even threw myself out there and helped with a political campaign. I learned a lot from doing this. One, I am not where I need to be to put myself back in the workforce; towards the end of it all, I was devoting less and less to it because my tolerance ran too thin. Another lesson I learned was that, when you brave the wild world we live in, there is almost always good that comes of it.
It works for me because I am the one driving the bus.
Okay, so I wasn’t where I thought I was in terms of recovery. However, as a consequence, I made some wonderful friends – people I would have never have met if I had allowed the might of mental illness to completely consume me. As I always say, you have a choice where to put your energy. I take the risk, overcome my fear and do it, and I don’t sweat it when I can’t. As long as I stay committed to getting better, I will always be able to follow through with plans at some point.
It works for me because I am the one driving the bus. If I can’t take on a task that day, I will tell people. I will make a meeting shorter or I will ask them if they mind meeting me in a quieter place.
So, if you have had a slow crawl to the end of this year, don’t despair. The good news is, you probably have forged memories and have moved in the right direction, no matter how slight its progress. May 2020 be your year, where you find more joy and less angst, fewer dark days and more sunny skies. You got this. Just keep going down the road to mental wellness.
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Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness
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