15 Things My Mental Health Has Taught Me

Mental Health is an ongoing battle and one we can beat, no matter how long it may take.
 It can be extremely difficult to even accept that you're dealing with a mental illness, let alone try to conquer it. Sometimes I feel like just when I’m starting to see the light, depression (and anxiety) swoops back in and carries me further away. 

It has been a constant battle with myself, and often that battle seems like it has no end. But throughout all of the hardships, near defeats, and moments where I wanted nothing but to give up, my depression and anxiety has taught me some very valuable lessons.

1. People won't always understand what you're going through, but that's okay, help them understand. It's about time we broke this stigma and educate others.

2. You are not alone, although it may feel like you are the only person struggling right now.

3. Putting yourself first is OKAY, your mental health is your first priority.

4. You find out who truly care about you, in sometimes the harshest conditions

5. You have a mental illness, that just happens to be part of you but it doesn't have to define you. Not One Bit.

6. Being on medication to help you along your mental health journey isn't a sign of weakness, asking for help isn't a sign of weakness. We all need help sometimes.

7. It's okay to cry, cry,cry and until you can't cry any more then hug a pet.

8. It’s okay to fall out of love with yourself. There will be times where you hate yourself and that’s okay because the process of loving yourself again is a tough but beautiful one.

9. Just breathe.Sometimes I just get so anxious, I begin to feel my heart racing and my knees shaking. Everything in the world just seems to become a weight on my shoulders, and it becomes difficult to think rationally. However, I just have to sit down and take deep breaths and remind myself that everything is going to be alright, that I have nothing to worry about.

10. Not everyone in the world is against you. With mental disorders you often feel as though everyone is out to get you. You always feel as though people wish hell upon you, and you feel as though you deserve it. This is not true, and most people aren't this evil. Its just your mind playing tricks on you.

11. If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. For so long, I found that I was doing things that I felt obligated to do. I was always doing things because I “should.” Doing things that make you happy, i find makes you feel good about yourself even just a little.

12. Don’t be embarrassed to be yourself. I wish when I was a teenager someone would have told me that it was perfectly fine to not “fit in” with everyone else. I found once i saw that being 'different' is encouraged in college, it was okay for me to like all my so called weird obsessions but they made me smile, Now i'm okay to admit that i get attached to fictional characters, i enjoy a ramble on my blog, a crazy love for chick flicks and Disney movies. In a society that tells us we all need to fit into a certain model, it is perfectly fine to break out and be yourself. Be proud of who you are, and embrace the unique things that make you who you are.

13. You are strong. Having anxiety or any mental illness makes you stronger as a person. Yes, everyone has their moments, but you are overall strong from it. It teaches you how to deal when things aren't always going smoothly. Dealing with something that challenges you this much everyday makes you realize there is nothing you can't handle.

14. Don't beat yourself up. it’s not just physically that I’d harm myself: On a subtler level I’d hurt myself mentally, too. The mental self-loathing is not necessarily something that ever really stops, but it is something you can learn to manage. It’s easy to be over-critical of yourself, but standing up to negative voices takes effort. Sometimes you’ve got to find your own little temporary fixes, whether that’s hiding in bed watching a tv series or a cheesy rom-com/chick flick

15. Getting better takes time. Finding the right medication, countless doctor's appointments, talking to family members. Even then I was still far from what you’d call “happy”, but I was on the right path. Recovery does take time, finding the right things that help you deal with every day battles. Depression or no depression, bad days are going to happen. And with depression the bad times can feel downright unbearable. Despite having become pretty damn good at managing my depression, I know that its shadow still lingers behind me. The only thing you can sometimes do is to be prepared. One thing that helped me was setting goals for myself – small things, like going outside more, smiling more often or simply getting through those seven days.  You are worth of recovery.

What has mental health taught you?

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