Selling yourself short

The repairs to the mustang are almost complete. The crunch from last month has been repaired, and although I need to work on the paint a bit more, I have to say I am blown away at the result, seeing as I completed the repairs myself, with some guidance from a friend.

It is definitely satisfying working with your hands, and managing to achieve such a positive result, especially when learning a new skill.

Is it a perfect job? No, but it looks a lot better than it did. I enjoyed the process, though not something I would want to do as a career. Definitely fun to dabble in though.

Two years ago, damaging the car the way I did would have gutted me and sent me out of control. Forget about fixing it myself. Everything going on at that point would have been a recipe for another hospital admission.

Instead, I squeezed the crap out of the lemon that life handed me, and made lemonade. I didn’t know anything about body work when I started the process. Instead of using that as a deterrent I managed to learn and push myself, and I am stronger for it.

My life has been spent helping others. I didn’t care about things unless it involved EMS, and that was to my detriment. I never learned how to grow, and explore. I was set in my ways, and honestly, outside of EMS didn’t think I had any talents or abilities to speak off.

Working toward recovery for my mental health issues has opened me to the world surrounding me. It has been a long five years since I left EMS. I’ve been at my worst, and the up and down swing of my moods has been a nausea inducing ride. Today, things are leveling out and I am opening myself to new learning opportunities. I am not cured but I am in recovery.  I still am plagued by the nightmares and the paranoia and insecurity of the disease, but I am able to weather the storm better.

When I was first diagnosed I totally sold myself short. I didn’t think I had the talent or ability to do a lot of things. Outside of work, I didn’t take risks. I didn’t challenge myself. I was comfortable. That comfort did not do me any favours.

I know from experience that recovery in mental illness can be daunting. I know it feels like things will never improve. I know how it feels to settle in to the “sick” role. I can also tell you that with effort and the support of your network, be it family, friends, doctors, the people in your life, life can improve. Like the car, it won’t be perfect, but it will be a lot more fulfilling than things as they are now.

Don’t sell yourself short. Instead, challenge yourself. Find your hidden talents. Make the effort. Everyone deserves to have a life worth living. I know it can be achieved.

Kevin

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