Discovering any good through challenging experiences can be difficult. We don’t always identify the good parts of what we are going through. Sometimes the lessons we learn from the hard times are only seen once we are through them. I thought I would share a few things I have learned from having a mental illness.
My Struggles Make Me Stronger
Struggling through life is something everyone does, regardless of having a mental illness or not. Not one person struggles the same as the next. I have learned that I am stronger because of my struggles. The strength it takes to find my way through them is a strength I never knew I had. I’m more than my struggles and will be more than the struggles on the horizon.
There is No Normal
Just what is normal anyway? My normal differs from your normal. Normal is in the beholder’s eye. I can say I want to be normal, but the truth is I am normal. At least normal for me, and I am okay with that. Being different is good and if normal is following along like a blind sheep than I don’t want that.
Smiles Aren’t Always Real
A smile can hide a world of hurt and pain. I know because I have smiled through some of my darkest days so no one would know. I’ve learned to look beyond the smile and attempt to see if it is genuine. Sometimes people need help but don’t know how to ask for it. Sometimes they don’t think they can ask for help. I want to be the person who others know they can turn to if needed.
The Power of No
The word no was not in my vocabulary for several years. I thought I needed to say yes to pretty much everything and everyone. I have learned that my mental illness care comes first, even when that means saying no. My family has to come before other things, but I do them no good if I don’t care for my health. Both my physical and mental health.
Kindness is Worth Millons
Taking a moment to be kind to someone can make all the difference in their day. I have learned that more than anything else. There have been days when my day has been beyond bad. Then someone will make a compliment or send me an email that just makes the day seem better. A moment of kindness can make even the worse seem better. I told a family friend that he was fabulous recently. He came by to do something that I couldn’t manage on my own. He is older and dropped everything to rush over for me. Days later, he was telling everyone he was fabulous because I said so. He told me he had no one call him that before. It made me feel good that I had made him feel good.