I set out to portrait a hope filled journey where I conquering the reality and stigma of mental illness. Several years of writing later, and I have hope that my tomorrows will be better than my yesterdays but I also have conflicting and challenging thoughts about living life with mental illness.
I see a doctor and therapist regularly and take all my dozen or so prescribed meds. Regular exercise, watching my diet, prayer and journaling are routine parts of my life. However, it is frustrating that even with following a solid routine of trauma therapy, good health practices and treatment for my mental illness I still find many days where I do not feel well. Days where my emotions or illness seem to row the boat rather than an upbeat conquer-the-world demeanor. I find myself wishing I were less symptomatic of my mental illness and could function throughout the day like a “normal” person.
However isolating my journey through mental illness is, I have to remember that I am no different than anybody else dealing with chronic illness. Everybody has some part of their life they need to manage with care and kid gloves. Whether it be physical health, emotional health, stress or challenging relationships there is always a piece of us that needs consistent balancing and tweaking to keep it on course.
So, yes, treatment is difficult. Talking about the same triggers and challenges ad nauseam with my therapist and doctor rubs my patience raw. I find myself consistently irritated at the glacial pace of healing, wishing for simple solutions and easy answers. But I am comforted by the fact that my experience of working, praying and living through challenges is just part of the human experience.
Here’s to living with hope, the stuff of potential and future realized dreams. Keep living with hope because I am normal and so are you