We all love the feeling of success. Whether defeating a rival in a football game or getting first place in a spelling bee, we all want to win.
I’ve often thought winning myself. What is winning in a mental illness? There’s no easy answer to this.
We have victories throughout our mental health journey. We are clean from self harm for a day, then two days, then a week, and so on. We get released from the hospital, and stay out for as long as possible. Even just staying alive for another day can be a victory to someone struggling. All of these examples deserve much praise.
There are also setbacks in the mental health world. I refuse to call them failures, as there are no failures on this journey. Even if you hurt yourself or relapse into your alcohol addiction, there is always a way back onto the wagon into victory.
When you are a member of the mentally ill gang,we celebrate every little positive happening. You ate something today? AWESOME!!!! Even though you cut yourself, you bandaged it and have refrained from it for a day? We are totally behind you all the way.
When you aren’t in our crew, you might not view these as victories. You might see them as a little step. Believe me, every little step is a huge deal. We all know what it is like to see the bottom of the abyss. Every step up is something to praise. As long as we are climbing, we are reaching our goal.
Sometimes, the stairs going up are crumbling down. We are having a hard time staying steady, and we fall down, down, down. However, all of us are here for each other in those moments. We help lift each other up, and get each other back to a healthy place.
I have one request for you, if you are not on this journey: COMMUNICATE. Please listen to us when we are struggling. Yes, other mentally ill people are a great support, but sometimes we need somebody on the other side. We need to see your perspective, so that it is possible to see it your way. Tell us how it makes you feel when we do something negative. Tell us how it makes you feel when we do something positive. Just tell us your thoughts. We will listen, or at least try to. It is hard for us to listen sometimes, but we need to hear you.
While we support our community, and you support yours, we also need to support each others. We need to educate you all on mental illness and our experiences, while you tell us your views. Let us come to you, but please please please, if you see us struggling and not helping ourselves, come to us. We care for you even when we don’t care for yourself. We hope you all will do the same.
(I might not be speaking for the whole mental health community, but U am going by what I see the most)