All advice for mental health promotes getting out of bed, being active and applying selfcare.
Yes I know. When we are going through a depressive process, we just really do not want to face the day let alone be active or apply self-care.
So is the advice pointless? is it for people who don't experience those days? Is it wrong?
I don't think so. I wouldn't say so. Let me share my experience with you.
Living with a lived experience of a mental illness meant that I faced many of those days.
"I am just too tired trying to live through another painful day."
"I just don't have it in me to face the day."
"I cannot do this anymore."
" I am too miserable to be in the world today."
How many comments like those ones cross your mind on some of the more difficult days?
I know they have crossed mine.
And let me face up and say there has been a time when I just gave up and spent my days in bed.
But when I gave up to the days, I also gave up on life. I became hopeless and even more tired to face other days. I had days when I spent more time sleeping than awake because it felt easier. There was a time when I started enjoying my dreams more than my awake life.
This was so dangerous because I started wanting to do nothing in life other than sleep. I wanted to live my life dreaming about it in my sleep. And the more I slept the less I was able to face life. It became a vicious cycle.
I slept to avoid life and I avoided life to sleep.
This did not change until I decided to break the cycle.
I decided to learn everything I can about mental health. Learning about mental health made me realize that I was not alone and that I was not broken and could only live a healthy life in my dreams. I finally was no longer ashamed of myself and my experience and finally put my hand up and said I need support.
With the right supports you might still wake up at times and face similar days, remember mental health is a journey not a destination. But on those days, I gather all my energy, all my will power and everything I have left in me to remind myself that I don't have to decide at this moment whether to face today or not. I just have to face the one task I prioritise most for today and the rest will just fall into place. Whatever it is that you prioritise for that day whether it is getting yourself to work, or taking care of your children or just having a shower. Think of just this one task and complete it. Achieving this one task, gives us a sense of achievement and gives us a boost of energy to face the next task. Even if for this day, the only way to get through is by completing one task at a time remember at the end of the day, you got out of bed and you beat your hopelessness and achieved so much personal growth to be able to tackle the next day. Remember our challenging days are also our growing days.
By facing life one task at a time, we are achieving growth one challenge at a time.
Don't let today be the day you give up on life, make it the day you conquer life.
And you don't have to do it alone. Put your hand up and ask for support from those around you and from a professional. Yes I support individuals for a living but it does not have to be me who supports you.
For free support in South West Sydney please
contact SWSPHN Intake line on 1300 797 746