Earlier this week, I shared some news about adjusting to the fact that, after nearly a year, I’ve had to stop seeing my therapist. It’s a process I’m used to – in fact, this is the most success I’ve ever had with a therapist – but there’s something familiar about being in this position. Whether it’s feeling like I’m starting from scratch or having to wade into the pool of finding someone new to talk to about my life, it’s not a feeling I enjoy. But I think what I dislike most is that it brings up a lot of uncertainty in my day-to-day life – an uncertainty that’s hurt my mental health in the past.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned how the concept of certainty plays in my mental health. It’s amazing how much of my anxiety come from dealing with uncertainty. Big or small, important or insignificant, my anxiety is very easily triggered by not having all the details or understanding what’s going on.
That being said, this clearly seems like a textbook situation for that anxiety to play out. The negative spin I could take is clear, and what’s at the heart of that negativity is my fear of uncertainty. I don’t know what the next step is for my mental health. I don’t know what I can do right now to practice mental wellness. I feel like I’m in a position where I could create new ways of managing my mental health and living with anxiety and depression.
But is that better? Is it worse? I really don’t know. And it’ll eat away at me for a while until I make a plan. I wish that was something more people understood: taking things at face value doesn’t really exist when you live with mental illness. You’re already fighting off painful assumptions, cognitive distortions, and negative thoughts on a daily basis. And that’s a normal day! Once you throw in unexpected changes or situations where you have to adjust on the fly, those challenges get so much harder and can become overwhelming.
In this moment, I’m thinking about what it would mean to sit with uncertainty. I’ve never explored it before, and it seems like a foreign concept. But I wonder if it would be helpful to sit in the fact that for the first time in almost a year, I don’t have an appointment booked to talk to someone about my mental health. I don’t have a space that I created to sit in my thoughts and feelings. Maybe…that’s a good thing?
I often look at change as a rude disruption to my routine, but I rarely think critically about if that routine was a good one. Am I doing what I need to do to maintain mental wellness and manage my mental health? Or am I doing what I think I need to do those things? Either way, I think it’s something worth exploring, and I’m hoping to use this opportunity to be more open and honest with myself about how I’m managing my mental health. That’s the best way I know to find some certainty – maybe not the step I thought I’d be taking, but an important one for my mental health.
Has a change in your day-to-day life ever worked out positively for your mental health? Can disruption sometimes be a good thing in our lives? Let me know in the comments!