In order to make improvements in our mental wellness, we must learn where to draw the lineTweet
It’s the damndest thing, isn’t it? How a mental health condition can take you on a wild ride of feeling worthless to feeling super productive. Feeling like a “1” on the wellness meter is by no means where I aspire to be. No, I love the moments in time when I feel well. It’s where we all strive to be but, I have to be honest, it’s hard to know where to draw the line.
Take last week, for example – what a wonderful period of time. I took the opportunity to spend time with some good friends and even attended a community outing. A gathering that was full of strangers, no less.
Sadly, I still fell victim to the powers of mental illness.
While being social and getting out to public places is crucial, I sometimes forget that I am still fighting for the resilience required to handle it all. When I am at the top of my game; I stop paying attention to the fact that mental illness is all an ebb-and-flow.
And, like radiation, if exposed to triggers for too long, I slowly start to become symptomatic. The best way to avoid a crash is knowing your tolerances, a skill that I don’t always adhere to. Trust me, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that feeling good makes me forget.
The trouble with forgetting is, is sooner or later, PTSD will remind me that it was only taking a nap. A sad reality I was reminded of the other day when I was so mentally drained, I slept all day. Oops. As a consequence, I am still feeling its effect two days later.
I have learned to embrace them and see them as my new normal.
Sadly, I still fall victim to the powers of mental illness and because of that, I am not ready for the real world – not for eight hours a day, five days a week. While that fact is a crystal- clear one, I nonetheless do what I can in these situations to measure any semblance of success. This time, however, I failed to see where to draw the line.
You know what? That’s okay. One of the areas of mass improvement for me is that I have learned not to beat myself up over it. It’s not a regression, it’s a mistake that leads to a temporary setback – one I will recover from with a little downtime and some good self-care.
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Along my road to mental wellness, I have learned a lot along the way. One of them is that I must accept that there are going to be setbacks. In fact, I have learned to embrace them and see them as my new normal.
So, where does this leave me this week? Well, I have purposely kept my schedule light and have my to-do list short. My recovery is contingent on a low-key, low-stimulus environment; loosely translated, I’m gonna stay home.
Well, with that said, get out there and test your boundaries to see where you are at. If for whatever reason you can’t find where to draw the line, no worries. It simply means that you may have to do a reset with a lighter schedule and some “me” time. You know what? It really is okay. No self-blame needed.