Sunday, February 12, 2023

Weathering The Storm


Have you ever gone through a storm so bad that you feared for your safety? Where your fear intensifies because you hear the sirens? Where all you can do is hunker down and hope for the best? Now imagine being outside in the storm with no shelter and with no end in sight. 

That’s how I can best describe mental illness. Your mind is in the middle of a storm, just looking for the light, in a sea of darkness. Your brain is literally under attack and no matter what you do, you just can’t shake the storm. 

For me, I have two different types of storms. I have mania and depression. I like to think my manias are similar to tornadoes. Fast and leaving a trail of destruction in its path. Destruction that I have to clean up. My depression, like a blizzard. Where you just stay inside, trying to survive the cold.

For other people I’m sure it’s different, but for me a storm has the perfect description. The definition of storm literally says, “a violent disturbance,” in the definition. Mental illness can be daunting and rough to navigate alone. Having support through the storm can make all the difference.

Having a support system while fighting mental illness for me has been a game changer. Knowing that I am not alone when I am struggling. Whether that is with mania or depression. I have people, be it my boyfriend or a family member, that I can reach out to. Doesn’t matter if it’s night or day, they are there for me. And they make weathering the storm so much easier.

Without my support system I really would be alone in this battle. Having people I can trust with, at times, the darkest parts of me, has made all the difference in my life. Not to say that I don’t shut them out at times. Sometimes I am better at shutting everyone out than letting people in. But I have learned that they will always be there for me, especially when I am left picking up the pieces of the aftereffects of the storm.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is hold on and wait for the storm to pass. And other times, with the proper support system, you have other people to hold onto. Having a mental illness, while difficult to navigate, doesn’t have to be done alone. For me, my family has been the best support I could get. But for others, maybe it is a couple of trustworthy friends. 

The good news is that storms are not forever. Storms are temporary, and while they may cause some lasting damage, you can always fix it. It may be hard, but it's not impossible. Mental illness, while forever, comes with moments of stability. The stability is when I pick up the pieces, put in the work. When I remember that I can make it through the storm and be okay.

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