For all you Harry Potter fans this quote is for you.
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light. - Dumbledore
A lot of what mental health has to offer us is seen as negative, which it is. Despite this quote talking about happiness, I wanted to focus on the positives of what my mental health journey has taught me. I don't want to go as far as to say happy but certainly, a few things that I'm grateful for and wouldn't change for anything.
Here are 5 things I've Learned from my Battle with My Mental Health
It's Okay Not To Be Okay, we've come a long way on this one for me and I'm sure many of you. The stigma of weakness regarding mental health was strong. As I've mentioned before true strength comes from facing our demons. Reaching out and asking for help is where real strength lies. Having emotion and feelings makes you human, not weak. It would be more concerning if you didn't have them than if you did.
I love the non-linear path I'm on. If one thing has ever held true with me, it's that I hate taking a straight line in life. Not to say there's anything wrong with that. It's just not for me. Trust me when I say the path I'm on comes with its own set of problems and complications. Being 22 not in school or working with no distinct path ahead is worrisome. It's something that I think about frequently and I'm sure others around me the same. Despite that when I look back I wouldn't want to change a thing. Listening to my body and mind was the right thing to do. On my own path not caving into social norms is exactly who I see myself as. Focusing on my mental health is my number one priority. There's no path, no schedule, no 10-year plan which may seem daunting but it works for me. Do I need to focus on my future absolutely! I'm just glad to be doing it my way. What makes us different is what makes us who we are.
You never know how someone is feeling. I'm sure we've all heard "Smiles can be deceiving" As someone who seemed happy and easy-going throughout high school I was anything but. We just assume how people feel based on what we can see and what they choose to show us. Anyone can be hurting at any time. That's the truth. It's much easier to put on a happy face than to open and become vulnerable. Accepting others and being there for one another is the least we can do. We can't read minds so just respect each other. I had a really close friend who seemed as if they had it all living there best life. They would tell you it is anything but.
Bad days will happen. No matter how hard you try, however much you follow a self-care loving routine. Bad days will always be a thing. We can't control every aspect of our lives and our mental health is included in that. From something as simple as the news (which I get is anything but simple these days) to sudden loss. We can't know how to react until something has happened. We can't control everything nor should we try. Bad days are inevitable. Even the happiest of people experience bad days so you could be damn sure us mental health strugglers will too. Not being hard on ourselves and accepting it, is the best course of action. It's okay to have a bad day, week, month, year.
Lastly, I have seen My Strength. This one is tricky because 95% of the time I'll deny I'm strong. I will go against everything I preach on here and tell you I'm weak. The truth is though to go through what I've been through in life and still get out of bed in the morning all be it sleeping in later than usual some days requires strength. May not be physical strength but mental strength is a real thing. I may not think I can handle everything but in reality, I can handle whatever is thrown my way and come out the other side. That's not to say I'm going to sprint into the ocean blindfolded but, there's a strong chance I could. I'm a very sensitive person, who can have his buttons easily pressed but when push comes to shove deep down I know I can handle anything life will throw at me. Life is full of peaks and valleys. Understanding the good that comes from our journey is a peak.
"We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience" - John Dewey
The path we are on is not easy or short but there's is so much to learn and gain as a person. I've learned so much about myself just from living this life. It may be difficult nine times out of ten but knowledge is power and learning about ourselves through growth and reflecting on experiences feels worth it.
- Thinking Mans Thoughts
I've created a Patreon for anyone who wants to help and support this journey I'm on. This isn’t about money nor will it ever be. I plan to blog as long as I have thoughts running through my head and stories to tell, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t help me in my situation. All support is appreciated but not mandatory. It's very awkward 'asking' for money especially when I don’t want it to come across like that is my intention.
If you've read all of that and still choose to support me, I will forever appreciate it.