Its been four years since I was hospitalized. I would like to say that I’m all better. I’m healed. I’m back better than ever. But mental illness doesn’t work that way. It is an ocean of high and low tides that roll in and out. Depression, anxiety, and flashbacks roll in but so do joy, peace, and thankfulness. Its a mixed bag of balancing the past with the present, not allowing the past memories to hijack the beauty of the moments I have been given.
However, I am so grateful for the time that I was able to be inpatient in a treatment facility not just to identify my illnesses and to focus on what needs to happen to keep me healthy in the future. Always the over achiever, when they told me that trauma treatment was a three- five year journey I was sure I could eagle that hole and finish in 3-5 months. It has been four years of ups and downs and certainly of learning who I am and I plan to spend my life time pursuing that goal.
I was given the gift of time to reflect on my life but every one of us has the opportunity to do that. Perhaps we lack the motivation to take time out of our busy lives to reflect because we don’t understand the gifts on the other side of reflection. When done well the other side of reflection on our lives and our place in the world there holds better understanding of self, renewed focus on what is important, better physical health, improved mental and emotional health.
Take the time. Set aside the calendar and prioritize you. You are worth it and, here’s the bonus, absolutely no bad can come from focusing on yourself for even a short time. Don’t wait until you are at your end. Do it now.