Anxiety, Depression, Mental Illness

“Just do it” doesn’t help

By Megan K.

There is no doubt that caring for yourself, and thus, your mental health, should be high on your priority list during this coming year, and I strongly encourage you to make a goal regarding your mental health for this next year. But remember that making your mental health a priority is just like any other New Year’s resolution, it is NOT easy.  In fact, it is probably the hardest New Year’s resolution that you will ever take on.  There is not doubt that you can do it, but here’s a few things to remember:

People that aren’t living with a mental illness are not aware of the difficult path that goes along with it.  If I had a nickel for every time someone in my family has told me to “just do” something, I would be a millionaire. “Just go out, go have fun,” “just go be social, it’s not that hard,” or if you have read any of my previous posts you know that I have an eating disorder, and I want to scream every time someone says, “just eat normally.”

“Just do it” does not apply to improving mental health.  It takes time, persistence, and dedication to really improve your mental state.  That statement is important for both those that are living with a mental illness, and those that aren’t, need to remember. Life with a mental illness is a lot of relapse, recovery, remorse, regret, and pretty much any other “re-“ word you can think of is most likely applicable to the journey of living with a mental illness.  But when you are not dealing with it first hand it is hard to understand.  So, let me try to shed the slightest bit of light on this “re” journey.

I have been living with severe anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember.  It has kept me from doing many things in my life that I would have previously jumped at the chance of doing.  But throughout this time, I have experienced so many ups and downs that if I mapped it out on a piece of paper it would look like a terrifying rollercoaster that even thrill seekers wouldn’t want to get on.  Recently, I have been on one of the stomach dropping down hills of my rollercoaster.  Things that should be naturally fun, such as hanging out with friends, are so anxiety provoking I will find myself crying about the “what if situations” before I even commit to any sort of plans with them.  Make this relapse number….I’ve lost count.

The point is, is that getting help and working to better your mental health is a rough ride, but that is OKAY!  The highs are high, and the lows are low, but the journey does make you a stronger person.  Cherish those high moments and use them as motivation when you are on the downhill.  The journey makes you realize new things about yourself: your priorities, strengths, dreams, and everything in between.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you for this year is to hold on tight and don’t let the rollercoaster knock you around causing whiplash.  You are strong, and you can control how much you let that rollercoaster beat you up.  As I continue my journey, I hope that you will start and/or continue your ride with me.  Do not give up; I promise I won’t!

I will leave you with this:  Don’t go into this year looking to create a “new” you, because you are perfect!  Use this next year to make a BETTER you.

There is no doubt that caring for yourself, and thus, your mental health, should be high on your priority list during this coming year, and I strongly encourage you to make a goal regarding your mental health for this next year. But remember that making your mental health a priority is just like any other New Year’s resolution, it is NOT easy.  In fact, it is probably the hardest New Year’s resolution that you will ever take on.  There is not doubt that you can do it, but here’s a few things to remember:

People that aren’t living with a mental illness are not aware of the difficult path that goes along with it.  If I had a nickel for every time someone in my family has told me to “just do” something, I would be a millionaire. “Just go out, go have fun,” “just go be social, it’s not that hard,” or if you have read any of my previous posts you know that I have an eating disorder, and I want to scream every time someone says, “just eat normally.”

“Just do it” does not apply to improving mental health.  It takes time, persistence, and dedication to really improve your mental state.  That statement is important for both those that are living with a mental illness, and those that aren’t, need to remember. Life with a mental illness is a lot of relapse, recovery, remorse, regret, and pretty much any other “re-“ word you can think of is most likely applicable to the journey of living with a mental illness.  But when you are not dealing with it first hand it is hard to understand.  So, let me try to shed the slightest bit of light on this “re” journey.

I have been living with severe anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember.  It has kept me from doing many things in my life that I would have previously jumped at the chance of doing.  But throughout this time, I have experienced so many ups and downs that if I mapped it out on a piece of paper it would look like a terrifying rollercoaster that even thrill seekers wouldn’t want to get on.  Recently, I have been on one of the stomach dropping down hills of my rollercoaster.  Things that should be naturally fun, such as hanging out with friends, are so anxiety provoking I will find myself crying about the “what if situations” before I even commit to any sort of plans with them.  Make this relapse number….I’ve lost count.

The point is, is that getting help and working to better your mental health is a rough ride, but that is OKAY!  The highs are high, and the lows are low, but the journey does make you a stronger person.  Cherish those high moments and use them as motivation when you are on the downhill.  The journey makes you realize new things about yourself: your priorities, strengths, dreams, and everything in between.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you for this year is to hold on tight and don’t let the rollercoaster knock you around causing whiplash.  You are strong, and you can control how much you let that rollercoaster beat you up.  As I continue my journey, I hope that you will start and/or continue your ride with me.  Do not give up; I promise I won’t!

I will leave you with this:  Don’t go into this year looking to create a “new” you, because you are perfect!  Use this next year to make a BETTER you.

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