There is strength in weakness because when you feel like giving up, you never do. You are strong. You are stronger than you know. The power is within you, even if you cannot feel or see it. Living in itself is a battle you have to win each and every day. Don’t give up, because I am counting on you.
Things Will Look Up Again
You, my fellow warrior, have seen it all. You have been to the depths of hell and back. You have had stepped on volcanoes which have erupted and have sent you spiralling down to the bottom of a slick cave whose walls seemed to have no grip for you to climb out. But then there was that person, that one person, who extended their hand down to you in the form of a smile, and for one millisecond everything seemed alright with the world. You have taken those milliseconds and turned them into hours. Eventually, those hours have become days and then there have been whole weeks when the burden of your mental illness didn’t drag you down. Because living is sometimes difficult, but it doesn’t have to be all the time. Things will always look up again even if it takes years to get there.
Your Empathy Knows No Limits
There is no time limit to being affected by the past. My father died when I was three and a half and I still feel sad about it. I was sexually abused for six years as a young adult and it took six years of weekly therapy and hospitalizations to get to where I am now. I’m doing better. Your experiences have shaped you for the better. The reason you cry more easily at a tragic movie moment is that you understand. Your empathy has no limits. You understand the burden that comes with suffering. You have carried those heavy rocks on your back for too many years not to know. Your intuitive wisdom informs you that it’s never over, not until the day you breathe your last breath of life. And even then, it’s not over.
Your Legacy is Living
Whether you have raised children or not, you have left behind a legacy and a path of light with each person you have come into contact. Your legacy is that you have lived and to the best of your ability. Those around you have seen you struggle and have seen you persevere. Making it to the next day is perseverance, though some do not know the horrors you have seen. Some do not know what it’s like to be deathly afraid of leaving your home, or how hard it is to have knives in the home lest you get the impulse to use them to harm yourself.
Mental Illness is Unique to Each Person
People who feel suicidal are not usually homicidal as well. What good does it do to kick out your church nursery volunteer of two years just because she was picked up by an ambulance for suicidal ideation? The excuse is they thought I might be a danger to the children, when in fact, being with those children is what kept me alive. People have misconceptions all the time about what mental illness actually is. What it is, is individual and unique to each person. Having bipolar disorder is not worse than having major depressive disorder. In fact, there can be no comparison. Both have depressive episodes and both can be severe. I just found out I have hypomania. It feels great to have a name for what I experience yet I am having to come to terms with the new potential diagnosis of having bipolar I disorder. It’s hard to wrap my head around.
You Know You Best
You are not weak. What you are is human. There is so much more to you than what the naked eye can see. There is depth and compassion, even if you don’t have it for yourself. They are not the enemy. You are your own enemy when you don’t let yourself indulge in good sleeping and eating habits. Sometimes sleeping can be difficult. There are strategies to help with this. There are strategies to overcome the difficulties in your life. But no one knows you better than you. You must trust your instinct for you know what is best for you. Don’t listen to what anyone else tells you. Just take the good parts and filter out the rest. That you owe to yourself.
You Are a Warrior
When you feel as if you have been worn down, beat to the ground, know this. Know that you are a warrior of the greatest kind. You have been to places most people cannot imagine. You have been there, and then you have stepped back into the realm of the living, where the rest of us live. Your journey is so unique and so special. The best part about it is that your journey is yours. No one else can claim to have lived your life. No one else has your point of view. If everything around you is coloured grey, there will be brighter colours around the corner.
Focus on the Now
You paint your own picture. You are in charge of your life whether you like it or not. Being in charge of your life means responsibility and it means independence. You’d probably rather have a say than have someone else dictate your life. We all make poor decisions at times. We are only human and humans have faults too. Don’t worry too much about the future because, in the end, everything has a way of working itself out. Focus on the now. Focus on how you can improve this very moment. Close your eyes and picture yourself on a sailboat in the middle of the blue sea, so free, or on a sandy dune whose beaches belong only to you. Keep this image, whatever pleasant image you may construe, and store it in a place in your mind for when you need it next. Keep going back to this place, and with practice, you’ll be able to find that safe space inside at a moment’s notice.
You Are the Reason I Write
You are your own saviour. You’ve carried a cross which most don’t have to bear. We all have problems, but yours have made you stronger. Each problem you have faced, you’ve been able to get through, because you are here, now. You exist so that rainbows have a place to end. Every breath which you breathe has a way of making this world a better place. Just you being you is so profound that writers like me have run out of words to compliment you. You, my reader, are the reason I write. Writing fills my soul, lifts me up, gives me an avenue to express that which lays upon my heart. Were it not for you, my words would never get read.
You Have the Power
If you are feeling discouraged, know that there are authors like me who are long gone, lining up at the door waiting to soothe your mind and lift your spirit. You are never alone. You are never alone because you have the tools to reach out: a witty mind, dexterous fingers and a mobile phone. If you cannot come up with the name of a friend to call, there are hotlines. But the best hotline is the one which goes from synapse to synapse in your own mind. You have the power. You have the power to lift yourself up, even if it feels like you are drowning. You see, it takes patience and lots of practice. Being kind to yourself isn’t actually the easiest of things, but it is possible to do. It is within that realm of possibility in which your mind must rest. Visit this realm occasionally and you will see that it might be a good idea to set up camp there and make it your new home. Home is where the mind is and where the heart rests. Find respite in your soul and remember to breathe.