So it’s the end of 2017, and congratulations are in order. You made it!
Did I? You’re probably asking. And there could be good reason for that question. Whether it was a good year or bad, getting to the finish line of a calendar year can sometimes feel like you’re stuck in molasses – it takes forever to get there and when you do, it’s anti-climactic.
There are positive and negative ways to approach the impending New Year’s holiday, and I don’t think I’m making a big leap when I say that it’s difficult not to focus on the negatives. At the beginning of every year we set goals, we have hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Oftentimes those dreams are dashed before we can blink. Suddenly it’s December, and we’ve wondered not only where the year has gone, but where we’ve gone as well. But, at least for the purposes of this post, I don’t want you reflecting. I want you to feel good about yourself, because you deserve it. Why? Because you’re here!
Sometimes time can stand still for those with mental illness. If we’re having a panic attack, or an anxious episode or in a very depressed state, we feel like we’ll be in that state forever. That’s why, to me, things don’t tend to ‘fly by’; living with a mental illness means that some days can turn into the longest days of your life. Each day can be a battle, and as you know, not all battles are quick ones. Some take many years.
And yet we power on into the next day, and the next and the next, until we look up and realize another year as gone by. And I for one am prouder of that fact than anything else. I’m proud I’ve made it through another year living with mental illness. I’m proud that while I’m not where I want to be, I’m better than where I was. Mental health is a sliding scale with no plateau, which means that even though one day we might be on top of the world, tomorrow we might be down in the dumps. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the victories whenever, wherever we can, because we don’t always know where our mental health journeys will take us.
So I don’t want you to worry about this past year, or freak out about the year to come. That can come later (for me, it usually comes five minutes after writing theses posts). For now, I just want you to feel good about making it through 2017 in whatever way you did. It might not have been pretty, but it did happen. You made it through. And you should be damn proud.