This will be a series that will run during the month of December 2019 as we head into the New Year. This is part one.
What a decade it has been for me. At the beginning of the decade I was severely depressed and suicidal. 2010 was the year of my last suicide and the year I decided that my life was going to change. Here are somethings that I learned about myself and the wisdom that came from my experiences.
- I am a stronger person than I ever gave myself credit. At the beginning of this decade, I almost died in my last suicide attempt, My doctors basically said it was a coin flip that I would live. Yet, here I am alive, active, and always working on my mental health.
- This mental illness life is messy, and that is okay. I have been through many depression cycles over the last ten years. Some have lasted for months and some for days or weeks. It can be messy, but I always come out stronger in the end.
- It’s okay to not be okay. This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way, but the truth is everyone learns it in this mental illness life.
- Antidepressants are not for me. In 2018 I got off antidepressants after changing them at least twice a year since 2007. I really believe that I am better off without them as my depression cycles are slowly becoming less controlling as I fight it on my own.
- Take a mental health day at least once a week. I learned this lesson also the hard way. It is possible to overwhelm yourself in this life, that is the truth of it. I am famous for overworking myself because I feel the years I lost, I have to make up for by working too much. Life is too short. Enjoy it. Travel. Plan things. Do things. It is easy to get into the habit of isolating yourself from society. I know I have done it and still do when my anxiety is high.
- Life is too short! Don’t get bogged down in the ways your mental illness is keeping you from living. You will drive yourself crazy with anxiety with this line of thinking.
- Change does not happen overnight. It took me years to get to a point where I could go back to school. I had to relearn to be human again with a mental illness. I wanted things to change so bad fast that I set myself back a few times before I got myself together. Take the good with the bad with your mental illness.
- There is always hope on the other side. It sounds cliche, I know, but there is so much wisdom in the idea that there is hope on the other side. I am living proof. I wanted to die, and now I am a published author, and I am a graduate student. Life will come back to you even when it feels hopeless.
- Anxiety can take over your life. If you let it, anxiety can take you to as dark of places as depression. You make the choices in life.
- Never be afraid to tell your story…even if it is eventually down the road. It took me years to be ready to write my experiences on this blog and in my memoir. If you can, share your experience. You might save a life.
I hope this helps shed some light over my last decade. Besides these lists I will be writing daily about things that I have learned and maybe expand on the ideas in this list. As always, stay strong in the fight.
Always Keep Fighting
P.S. If you have time, please purchase my book. You can find it on Amazon by looking up my pen name James Edgar Skye. The name of the book is The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. It is available in print and Kindle edition. Thank you for your support. I will also link my Amazon page below.Become a Patron!