I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the shit I myself and many others deal with when it comes to mental illness and the constant battle that everyone fights to keep their mental health… well, healthy. I definitely talk up all of the positives that I’ve been encountering lately; I feel like I’ve made significant progress and feel pretty good about that. But another thing that I’m always trying to emphasize on here is that there is no such thing as a finish line. I’m thankful for the support I have that is there for me when I--still at this point--feel like I take a step back in my progress.
That is precisely what this post is gonna be about: the people that surround those who struggle like I do. I’ve been in every position a person can be in when it comes to dealing with mental illness. And not to mention more everyday occurrences, when a problem sometimes doesn’t extend as far as mental illness does. It’s easy to forget about the other people that hold significance in your personal progress, because, at the end of the day, your progress is primarily about you. But never considering those who also play an important role… it would be a terrible mistake.
I went through a lot of last year--frankly, most of last year--only focusing on myself. I’m not apologizing for it or saying that it’s a bad approach, nor do I regret it. I still spend a lot of energy doing the same thing on a regular basis. But my mentality has definitely shifted.
Last year I disregarded the value in focusing on anyone but myself.
Was I a terrible person? I don’t think so. I just found myself affirming this idea that it didn’t really matter how everyone else was doing as long as I was working on myself. I think I let a lot of people sort of fall to the wayside this way.
I’ve watched this same pattern with many people I know; they’re going through shit and it can be almost impossible to see past their own destruction. You don’t have to have a mental illness to fall victim to it. Having clinical anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder just presents more opportunities for a person to fall into this pattern.
People are gonna try and help you. Human nature breeds connection. We love to be loved and we love to give love. Then things get muddled when you feel out of control.
So, this post is for those who are there. Those people who are there when it’s the hardest for us to appreciate you in the way you deserve. This post is also for the ones caught in that feeling of not being in control: look at those around you and fight to show them the appreciation that they deserve.
You’re undoubtedly already doing a lot of fighting for yourself, but don’t lose recognition for the value in fighting for others, too.
I had a bit of a breakdown the other week. It wasn’t monumental nor was it even close to one of the worst anxiety attacks I have had, but it shook me up. It started out with a negative thought and then it spiraled to a point that I hadn’t found myself in for quite some time. Honestly, the newfound rarity of the situation was probably one of the biggest things freaking me out… I felt like my progress was shattering.
Spoiler alert, I dealt with it. I have put in the work and developed the skills to deal with an anxiety attack, even when it hasn’t happened in a very long time. But it made me think about how much I have changed--and how I haven’t.
So… to the other person in the equation,
To those that deal with my mental illness in other ways,
To those that have been there in the past and may not be here still,
I won’t let myself forget your part in all of this.
While you could make a hundred sacrifices or just one,
The role you play does not go unnoticed.
If I can do better by you, I will.
At the end of the day,
Regardless of what I feel going through my head,
All I ever want to be is a better person.
It has to start with me.
It has to continue because of me.
But in many ways,
It has started with you.
Show your appreciation, it can never be overstated.