Prairie storm, mental storm

Living in the prairies of Canada is a blessing unlike any other.

Last night, after a long day of covering neighboring communities for the paper as part of our Canada Day Celebrations, Lynn and I were treated to an awe inspiring sight. We watched a lightning storm blow in to the south of us.

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So we did what any adventurous couple would do. We pulled over to take some photo’s. This photo was taken approximately 30 kilometers Northwest of home. I was facing Southeast when I snapped the above photo.

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This one was taken a few minutes later, looking in the same direction as before.

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And this is the sunset we had at our backs. The clouds definitely left an ominous touch.

Weather can be a great analogy for those of us who deal with mental illness. For me, on days where I am maintaining, or even excelling, my mind can be likened to a bright sunny summer day. My depressive episodes can best be described as a cold, snowing, dark winter day. My borderline symptoms can be explained like the storm photo’s above. Dark, menacing, rapidly evolving, yet having a sliver of beauty as well.

I hate dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder, and it would make my other mental health issues that I deal with so much easier. Alas, that is not the burden I have been given to bear, and in all honesty, as wild of a ride the last few years has been, I wouldn’t change a thing.

If it wasn’t for the exact combination of genetics and experiences I have experienced in my life, I would not be who I am today. I would be someone different. I don’t know how wildly different, but different none the less.

The trick I have begun to understand is, whatever path we have walked on shapes us, the highs and lows. In an ideal world we would be able to get rid of the lows and keep the highs, but  that is not how life works. We can’t have one without the other, and some of us feel it even more drastically than others.

There is no easy fix for mental illness. I have preached it, and will keep preaching it: recovery from Mental Illness takes Work. It is not something you can solve by taking a pill, or by changing for an hour, a day or a year. It is work that you have to fight through to succeed. It is work that will bog you down. Crush you. Make you want to give up.

But you aren’t going to give up. You are going to get up one more time than you fall. You will carry the burden you have, and you won’t look back at the darkness nipping at your heals. You will survive the lows. And when you do eventually look back, you will be amazed at how far you have come.

With all the power and the fury of prairie storm, your mind can attack you. Just like the prairie storm, the attack can be intense, and leave quickly, leaving a beautiful sunset at your back.

Thanks for reading.

Kevin

 

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