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You Have to Fight to Get Better

world-cup-germany-2006-1314880-1280x960There are times in life when things stack up, when you get dealt a crappy hand and when the weight of the world pushes down on your shoulders.

These last few weeks have been that way for me, I’ve had some bad health news, I’ve had additional responsibilities and the changing of the seasons has put a wet gray cloud squarely over my head.

I’ve had nights in the last few weeks where I thought about what it would be like to die and though these thoughts are scary, they’re a natural response to being bombarded by some news that’s hard to hear.

The point is, things have been stacking up and in my infinite reserve, I’ve had to employ some tools to help myself feel better. These tools include treating myself well, taking the time I need and learning to find my motivation.

I think it’s safe to say that people who deal with chronic illnesses are tough, they fight and they beat their way back to stability and there’s an incredible amount of strength that goes into living with something like that.

A diagnosis has the tendency to break people, whether it’s a diagnosis of mental illness, cancer or diabetes. The point is, once you’re faced with the fragility of your own mortality and your own sanity you have to somehow find it within yourself to fight for a life that can be sustainable and happy.

Sometimes, in the midst of, or in the after stages of learning a serious diagnosis that strength and that determination can be hard to find. You can survive though, it will take work and will take time but you can fight your back to health and a relative stability.

The most important thing to do though is to keep going, keep making progress, a little bit everyday. Eventually these little steps you take for a few months or a year will lead to a mountain that you had no idea you were climbing.

Give it some time though, and keep doing what you can. Months or year down the line you’ll turn around and look out over the valley of the mountain you’ve just climbed and realize how monumental your task has been. You’ll also realize that if you can tackle something so huge, it’s not beneath you to do anything you want in this world. No matter what it is or how hard it may seem, just give it time and continual progress and eventually you’ll get to a point where you can’t even believe what you’ve accomplished.

I’m writing this today for you as well as for myself because right now I have a mountain in front of me that I have no choice but to climb but I know that over the next few months and years, as long as I keep taking steps to climb, I’ll get to the top and be able to look out and breathe because I know I’ve conquered something that seemed impossible.

I can do it, I’ve done it several times before and you can do it too. I know that. Just take the time you need and take whatever you actions you can continually until you’ve reached the top of that mountain.

We can do this I know we can.

You Have to Fight to Get Better

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). You Have to Fight to Get Better. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Nov 2015
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