To the person out there fighting to stay alive, I know you can do this.
I’ve done it.
I have sat for hours with thoughts racing. Days have passed with no thoughts at all. I watch the genuine smiles and laughter of those around me, and wonder if my external expression of joy is gone forever. There are days of self-hate and a free fall into a lack of self-care. A long time ago, I would cry endless tears, but I no longer cry. When I do shed a tear, I stop them immediately. As though crying exists for people who feel.
But, I do feel. I may feel empty, but pain exists in emptiness. The depth of sadness and disappointment is exhausting. So I sleep or quietly retreat into my mind. I still dream, and in those dreams, I find peace.
I have pulled myself up and out from the abyss. Determined to stay planted in depression, I have forced my mind and body to live again. Returning to life is hard because you are aware of the pain within it. The battle to stay in a world against you feels overwhelming. Why fight when it never ends? Whatever your ‘it’ is.
But we do. We wake up every day and shuffle through the muck of living. Every moment is mental health in motion. Psychological warfare for stability exists, and those around you have no idea. People who engage in physical conditioning get a break between workouts; for those working to stay mentally healthy, there is no break. We take the work out with us everywhere we go. Every thought is mental weightlifting.
I know you are tired. This journey feels unfair and disconnected in many ways. Watching others live mentally fit can be discouraging, though you are grateful they do. The teeter-totter effect hampers much in peaceful living.
It would be amazing to tell you we can magically correct all that is wrong in mental illness. My truth doesn’t support this concept. There has never been a cure.
However, there is hope and an anchor for the difficult days. I fail Jesus often, but He never fails me. When I turn away from everyone, including Him, I feel his presence within. While my thoughts may be empty, my heart never is. In the madness of my journey, Christ is my calm and clarity. His love is the medication for my soul.
For the person out there fighting to stay alive, I know you can do this.
I’ve done it.