When you struggle with mental illness, your winters feel longer than other people’s winters. Where they get through a setback relatively fast, you’re in recovery for the long-haul.
This doesn’t mean you’re not resilient. Maybe small obstacles rarely get you down anymore. But even on so called normal days, your life doesn’t feel like everyone else’s. Whether or not you were recently diagnosed or had an illness for a long time, grief at some point is inevitable. Giving yourself time to mourn the old you and a new sense of normal is part of healing.
There’s other things you could do.
You could turn off social media notifications or not look at them all together.
You could keep a list on your computer or on a post-it of all the ways your life is fantastic and why you’re proud of yourself.
You could find groups online or in person with people struggling with similar issues.
You could create a file on your computer with all the kind things others have said about you.
You could identify your super hero strengths. Too often we focus on all of our weaknesses so it’s a good reminder why sometimes hardship reveals traits like compassion, empathy, creativity, resilience and perseverance.
You could imagine for a moment what your life would look like if you didn’t have an illness and write a story about it. How would you be different? How would you be the same?
You could treat yourself like you’re worth everything good in your life because you kind of are.
You could immerse yourself in inspirational and positive stories of hope. People who overcame tremendous adversity are everywhere. They are on television. They write about their stories in memoirs and fiction. Many of them are right here on the blog.
This week, there are several examples of people who grew up in a cult. While you may not have raised in these extreme environments, their stories show us when it comes to struggles, none of us are exempt and we’re never alone.
5 Unhealthy Emotional Attachments
(Caregivers, Family & Friends) – Can you relate to any of these five common relational patterns of people with poor attachment?
R.I.P. Roy Jeffs: Killed by his Father’s Paedophilia
(Full Heart, Empty Arms) – Five years after he was free of his infamous father’s cult, Roy Jeffs took his own life showing the way abuse can haunt victims for the rest of their lives.
The Silent Void That Blocks You From Your Emotionally Neglected Spouse
(Childhood Emotional Neglect) – Do you feel shut out by your spouse or are you frustrated because of your partner’s constant need for greater closeness? Both issues are discussed in this post.
I Was In This Cult and Never Knew It!
(Narcissism Meets Normalcy) – This delves into how so-called safe, religious institutions can seriously harm others and confirms why one student always felt unsafe at school.
Wrong Assumptions about Personality Disorders
(The Exhausted Woman) – The things you believe about personality disorders could be affecting your ability to get help and help others. Here’s why.