So an interesting thing happened over the weekend – I broke my laptop. Nothing major, just a cracked screen. I took it into the store the next day, they confirmed that’s all the damage was (no hardware issue), and I should have it back by the end of the week. When things like that happen in my life, events that warrant a reaction of any kind, I tend to use those as examples on my blog. It’s kind of a ‘lesson learned’ for how to react to certain things. But before I could get to writing, someone who’d been going through my blog (shoutout to the new reader!) gave me a helpful reminder that made me laugh out loud: I’d already written that post before.
I didn’t believe her, but it’s true.
It’s right there for everyone to see! And while I agree with everything I wrote there almost a year ago (and yes, it’s said I couldn’t even make it a year without something happening again), that is not the approach I took this time. Instead, I responded to this event by experiencing an anxiety attack. This isn’t surprising, except for the fact that the last time this happened I did not react that way. And that’s what I want to write about.
This could have been an uplifting post as I recounted how my reaction this time was better than the last time. And while it was probably the same mental reaction, the physical reaction induced a type of anxiety attack that I hadn’t had in months (I’m okay, don’t worry!).
It wasn’t fun, but I walked away from the situation (I won’t lie, it did take a day) feeling a bit better because it reminded me of something I’ve told myself time and again. Like so many things in life, my mental health journey isn’t linear. It will ebb and flow, have its ups and downs just like everyone else. And everyone does have unique ups and downs with mental health – with life in general. Why would I be any different, and why should I expect anything different?
So yes, I had what some bloggers would call a ‘minor setback’ (LOL) with my mental health. But maybe viewing them as setbacks was my mistake. Calling my reaction a misstep means that next time it happens, I will feel like I failed. But mental health isn’t a pass/fail test; it isn’t a game to be won. Sometimes it just means we’re out here doing the best we can. Yes, you can fail at things even when you do try your best. But I’d argue that when it comes to mental health, ‘failure’ is a relative term. At the time, I thought I’d failed. Now, I’m just proud I made it through and that I’m in a better place than I was a few days ago. Isn’t that what counts?