Monday, January 9, 2017

Survive then Thrive

When mental illness and depression come knocking it can sometimes be all one can do just to survive. When my own struggles were at their worst my day to day goals involved things like getting out of bed, taking a shower, or eating all three meals. Anything beyond that was unfathomable.

I thank my Heavenly Father everyday that I am no longer in that spot. From the time I was sixteen to eighteen my efforts went only to surviving.

I am now nineteen, in college, and further along in my recovery. I still struggle. I still see a therapist. However, I have been able to move on from simply trying to survive.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but at the beginning of this new year I have been thinking about what directions I want to take my life. One thing I know is that this year I don't want to just survive, I want to thrive.

I will do that by continuing to take care of myself. When you start to see progress it can be easy to drop some of the coping skills and routines that got you there. I will be focusing on those little things while also pushing myself out of my comfort zone. My therapist has a saying that if I feel uncomfortable doing something I'm probably exactly where I need to be.

This year I am not going to let anything hold me back. I am taking steps to acknowledge myself and accept myself where I am and as I am.

We are all in the places we are for a reason. Whether it be our own actions, the actions of another person, or God's will that got us here there is a reason for it. It can be so easy to use the past as a reason to be afraid and not do what we desperately want to. Let go of that fear this year. Let go of all the voices around you telling you that you can't do it and that you aren't good enough. You can do anything that you put your heart and soul into.

It might not be easy. It might be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life, but I've never met a strong person who had an easy life.

Surviving had its place. It got me to where I am, but now I'm ready to thrive. Who's with me?

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