The last couple of days have been those of some much needed rest. I am loving my new role as a freelance reporter, however with everything I have piled on as of late I’ve been approaching a tipping point. If I push myself much more, things will start to break, and bad things will happen.
So I’ve had a conversation with my editor, just to put my cards on the table, and let her know that I need to slow down a bit, so I can maintain my mental and physical health, and still be able to contribute. I push myself too far, I’m no use to anyone.
Dealing with my mental illness is a balancing act. I’ve written before about the need to be active and to push myself, but also there being a difference between pushing myself and being reckless. If you push yourself, you can’t help but develop forward momentum. If you push to hard though, you can wind up even worse off than you were before, which is no benifit to anyone least of all yourself.
I used to believe that there was no hope out of the emotional pit of despair that I found myself continually trapped in. The last five years have been hell. I shake my head at the number of mental health hospitalizations I have had. I’ve been averaging a couple a year. I’ve also been working my ass off with treatment and therapy.
Today, I am a different person than I was before. I’ve been in the belly of the beast, and fought my way out. My illness has less of a hold over me. I finally see a glimmer of hope in the distance. That is not to say every day is cheery. I still struggle, I still fight a war within myself. I just tell myself that the war within is one that I WILL SURVIVE.
There is no future if I live in the past. What lies in the past is in the past. The genetic components of my mental illness will be there, some days flaring more than others. That is not something I can change. I can change how I react moving forward.
I can’t say that I will never stumble. I can’t say that I will never end up back in hospital again. I can definitely hope, but I can’t guarantee. If I manage to space the admissions out more I will consider it a success. Same with dropping down my supports.
I have the end in sight of my weekly group in Edmonton. My psychologist has started spacing out my sessions, confident in the knowledge that he is only a phone call away. I’m not saying all this to brag. I wouldn’t wish the sights Ive seen, the trauma’s I’ve dealt with, on anyone. I’m saying to give hope to others that even though things may not be perfect, they can improve. It is very possible for things to improve. It takes work, but it can be done. It is very possible to find the balancing point between managing your illness, and managing your life.