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If You are Alive You are Winning

Being at work is winning. If you are having a bad mental health day, just know that being at work is winning. You are doing better than you know. Screw the fake smiles and the lies you have to tell people about how you are doing well today. Because deep in your heart you know that you are fighting this illness with as much energy as you’ve got.

The Aftermath of Feeling Suicidal

I’m having a bad mental health day. Surprise? No. Do I wish I were having a better day? Yes, of course. But there is something significant about today. It is the aftermath of yesterday. Yesterday I felt suicidal for a brief few hours. I called the crisis line and I texted my friends. I reached out for help and I saw my psychiatrist. And then I was exhausted and feeling apathetic so I slept for 12 hours. I didn’t go to the hospital, I was able to keep myself safe, and I am at work today. This is winning.

I feel some shame for how horribly I was doing yesterday. I wish I could take back some of the things I said. As my doctor observed, I was all out of sorts. Luckily, I am allowed to hate on my psychiatrist and on my therapist. They don’t mind if I say that I hate them for a moment. In fact, I am allowed to be angry with them. It’s good practice. I don’t have enough experience in expressing my anger outwardly, as I usually turn it inward. It feels great to say that I am angry and to have that anger acknowledged and accepted. It feels great.

Anger Turned Inward

Anger is a difficult emotion for me to handle. It’s hard to recognise until it’s extreme and then I suddenly feel suicidal. Sometimes in therapy, I will recognise it because I am hitting my fist on the couch and my therapist helps me by asking me if I am feeling angry. I’m actually scared of anger. I’m terrified of becoming angry. Maybe it’s because I only had outright screaming matches or passive aggressive coping skills when I was a child. Maybe it’s because during my early adult years lashing out verbally in anger was always turned against me by my ex-husband who sexually abused me for six years. Maybe it’s because every time I said the word “no” it was disregarded and circumvented and as I discovered my wishes and desires meant nothing to this narcissistic man, I began to feel worthless as a human being. Because of the abuse, I began to feel as if I would be better off dead. Suicidal thinking is anger turned inward. You have to be pretty darn angry with yourself if you wish to end your life.

Finding a Reason To Live

Your mental health comes first. It comes before work and some may argue it should come before family. How can you take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself? Poorly is the answer. Let’s say you are at work and you begin to feel suicidal, as often happens to me. You’re panicking in your mind and yet no one around you knows that you are in crisis. You call the crisis line and go home to cuddle with your therapy dog because being his mom or dad is the only thing that will keep you from going to the store to buy the over the counter drug combination you were planning on taking to overdose with. Your dog needs you because otherwise, who will take care of him? You make it home and you’re exhausted so you fall asleep. You have no energy but you managed to not harm yourself. Did you just beat your mental illness? You bet you did. That was a win.

You are a Winner

Every day that you live is a win. Every day that you live, you are defying the odds of your precious self becoming a victim of suicide and of mental illness. Each day that you are alive is a victory over the oppressive darkness. You get to decide whether you will live another day. You get to beat your illness and put it in its place. You are not going to let the dark thoughts and negative inner voices get the best of you. Not today, not tomorrow, and if you continue to reach out for help, not ever.

Each Day That You Live is an Amazing Accomplishment

Do you have inner voices telling you that it’s not true? That you are losing because you are drowning and that no one is going to save you? That the dark cloud of depression will never go away? Don’t believe these things because they are all lies. You are winning because you are living from moment to moment. Not only are you living, you are fighting your inner demons by making it from day to day, no matter how exhausting daily activities of living can be. Like showering and feeding yourself. Like getting out of bed at some point of the day, even if it’s to move yourself over to the couch. Your depression, your mental illness, it wants to take over. It wants to see you suffer. But don’t let it. Don’t let it zap the last living breath from you because you have plenty more breaths to be had. You are not only a survivor; you are an overcomer. You are your own hero because every day, you save yourself. You did this. You have come this far. Nobody made you do it because there is a part of you that wants to live. There is a part of you which longs for happy moments. Here’s the most important part: you’re simply alive and that means you’re winning.

If You are Alive You are Winning

Anjuli Nunn

Anjuli Nunn identifies as a writer and is based out of San Diego, California. She is a mental health advocate. When she is not composing poetry, she likes to study psychology and philosophy. She also enjoys spending time with her mixed breed 12-pound dog named Samuel, whom she rescued in 2017.


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APA Reference
Nunn, A. (2018). If You are Alive You are Winning. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 24, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-recovery/2018/06/if-you-are-alive-you-are-winning/

 

Last updated: 6 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jun 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.