I will never bend to its will, to my mental illness. These things help me stay on top of the fight.Tweet
Just days ago I celebrated my forty-fifth birthday. With another year tacked on in this one-way trip, I can’t help but reflect on my life. I suppose it’s natural as we age and as far as I can tell, it’s a good thing.
Of course, I find my first thought being that of “Where did the time go?” I mean, man, I’m keeping close to living half a century.
Even though many people find this thought stressful, I, on the other hand, am damn lucky to be here. For I have very nearly opted to end my life-long struggle with my taxing mental pain. However, I often hear myself saying, “I will never bend to its will.”
By this I mean, I will keep fighting depresson’s speak, anxiety insisting that it wants to be my friend, and PTSD, well, F@#$ you too! Luckily, I have built a great support system, both through personal connection and professional help.
It goes almost without saying that this is the foundation for my resolve; because of them, I will keep moving forward. At the same time, I know that I may never escape from the long arm of my mental-health conditions; it’s imperative that I am honest with myself about that. Yes, I will have episodes of depression, traumatic episodes too, but I accept that.
The question for me then became: How do I manage these mental illness episodes?
Much to my relief, it turns out that a lot can be done.
For starters, exercise is what I call mother nature’s medication for me. Hitting the gym four days a week is an amazing mood booster. Not only does it boost my mood, it gives me energy to boot.
What this does for me is hold me accountable to ensure that I will never bow to its will, this painful thing called mental illness.
Additionally, I have found mindfulness to be a lifesaver in a sense; although I must admit that the noise of the outside world overruns my attempts to be “in the moment.” Despite this, I find it successful when in low to moderate stimulation.
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Perhaps one of the most beneficial things that helps me cope is a good diet. Despite knowing on the surface that eating well is good for you, I personally failed to see just how well a balanced diet works to alleviate mental illness symptoms… It really is transformational.
So, there you have it, the three main tools I implement to minimize my depressive and PTSD episodes. Why not try for yourself and see?