When life gives your lemons there’s one thing to do of course,
Pick them lemons up and chuck them back at the source!
Welcome everybody to my new blog!
Let’s face it in life success takes hard work and dedication. It doesn’t matter what profession or vocation one is in, you got to put the hours and hard work in to succeed. We only go through life once so we should make the best of it.
Let’s put that into the context of mental illness. I’ve personally walked the alienating, bitterly cold road and I know the hardship and difficulty. I understand that in some aspects I may never achieve as if I was never sick, but then again we don’t expect a person with a broken leg to run a marathon!
Maybe we should first a minimum standard. Staying out of the hospital is a good starting point. Going into a hospital is always traumatic and it interferes with the regular flow of life, thus in many ways, it is a major setback. I’ve known people who’ve been in the hospital sixty or seventy times. So staying out of a hospital is a good start, but understand that if you need it, the psychiatric ward is always there.
Getting up every morning and taking a shower is a good goal as well. While many outside the world of mental illness may scoff and belittle such an aspiration they are talking from ignorance. I recall days when I’d just lie in bed thinking about different ways I could kill myself. Taking care of your hygiene may be a baby step but it is an important one and essential for going further.
Getting a part-time or volunteer job might be the next goal. In the world of mental illness, we need both discipline and something to look forward to. If one could find something outside of the home environment that would be wonderful. A job introduces a person to a whole new environment and structure. If the people in the new situation are positive and uplifting it could bring wonders to your mental health. You’ll begin looking forward to going to work.
If that step is too grand than I suggest that you find some kind of creative outlet. Whether it is music, drawing, painting, poetry, sculpting, weaving, crocheting, cooking the list is long. I firmly believe that everybody has some kind of creative talent. The trick is in finding it and then developing it. I’ve seen the talent of many of my fellow patients and it was phenomenal. Mental illness doesn’t seem to stifle the creativity in an individual but rather it seems that mentally ill people have an abundance of creative juices in them. Give it a try.
The long-term goal is finding a permanent job where you can support yourself financially. I know at the stage you are in this might seem as a definite impossibility. At one time I too held that view, that I would never be able to get a job. But not only did I get a job; I also got married and developed a career. Don’t sell yourself short; you can do it if you try.
I’ve seen many mentally ill people surrender and give up on life. Their whole life consisted of going in and out of hospitals where at their best they would attend day programs. If there was one factor with my success it was that I never surrendered and I kept on trying. Of course, my achievement was the summation of not only my own efforts but with the aid of a massive support group.
So when life gives you lemons don’t sell yourself short! Don’t surrender and make some mellow lemonade. NO! I want you to pick those lemons right up off the ground and throw them back at whoever sent them to you. You can do better, I believe in you!