As we all know, it can be scary to start to feel the signs and symptoms of mental illness after a dormant period. Inevitably, it will happen. Again, and again, and again. Usually when I feel my symptoms starting up again, I get overwhelmed, scared, and generally frustrated. It’s as if I allowed myself to believe for a little while that the worst was over, that I would never feel so bad again. The reality is, I’m always going to have mental illness and I’m always going to go through these waves.
So, when I start to notice my symptoms starting up again, I remind myself that I’ve been here before. This is not some new battle against a beast I do not know how to defeat. I remind myself that I have worn the armor and wielded the weapons necessary for this fight many times before. I have won this battle every time and I will win it again. I’ve learned that if I try to fight against my mental illness, I will lose. The only way to win is to fight through. To fight through the negative feelings and symptoms until my head feels clear again. To fight through sleepless nights, and crying, snotty breakdowns. Until, eventually, my head clears and the anxiety crawls back into the cave she’s built in my gut.
I think what I’m starting to realize is that this is actually a journey of self acceptance. It’s not something I ever considered before, but it’s true. I need to be able to accept my anxiety and mental illness as a complete and total part of myself. Which is why it probably won’t ever go completely away.
I know I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I barely have any answers at all! However, all I can do is keep searching for those answers so I can live better with my mental illness. Let me know what answers you’re currently searching for in the comments…