Having a mental illness is exhausting, not only for me, but for all of those around me who have to deal with the ups and downs associated with my array of disorders. I, just like everyone else, have good days as well as bad days: some are a direct result of my disorders and others are just because it’s a part of life, part of being a human. The past two years have been full of learning opportunities and experiences that have allowed me to grow and cope with my diagnoses in a more effective and productive manner and without medication. This being said, I am fully aware of the fact that the relative stability I am currently experiencing may end up being short-lived.
Being in recovery doesn’t mean that I have completely escaped the death grip of mental illness. I still have to fight this battle every moment of every day, whether that means ripping myself out of bed in the morning, not sending a text message when my emotions are high, or giving my credit card to my husband. None of this is easy, especially when my brain is telling me to do the exact opposite and I would love to be able to honestly say that doing these things has become easier over time, but it really hasn’t. I still have to take things day by day and I still have setbacks. I’m still learning what works for me and what doesn’t.
My husband and I live with the rather grim reality that my disorders could one day end my life. As terrifying and pessimistic as that sounds, it’s the truth, and we both are aware that denying it will just cause more problems if that is where I end up. One thing that I have learned above all else is that my disorders are unpredictable. Yes, I’ve been able to identify my triggers, I have a massive toolbox of coping skills, I stopped compromising my brain through substance abuse, and I have a well-trained support system, but I don’t know what lies around the corner and if I will be equipped to handle the struggles of life later on down the road.
I want to make it perfectly clear that just because I acknowledge the possibility of my life ending by suicide does not mean that that’s what I’m expecting for my life.
I still make a decision every day to suit up and fight this battle, refusing to give up. Being realistic and being honest with myself has helped me more than anything in my journey to recovery and, for me, having the awareness that I may get back to that point again is what will ultimately save my life.
Thanks for reading.