Another day, another guest post and this time it’s with the lovely Charlotte Underwood from the UK! She’s here to speak about her experiences with her mental health journey and I’m so happy she chose my platform to do so.
My co-worker once asked me this: ‘Why does everything we perceive as mental illness have to be a bad thing?’ She told me that maybe not all of my anxieties are the worst thing; maybe they can benefit me in healthy ways too. Since thinking about this, it’s changed my whole perspective on who I am and my whole battle against my own mental health.
Why have I been so hard on myself?
Why is it that everything related to mental illness is classed as bad or as something that needs to be changed?
I now embrace my personality, my past, and who I am, including my mental illness – I can stay in recovery and improve myself without criticizing every little ‘problem’ I believe I have.
It can be incredibly soothing when someone tells you even the most obvious thing, because when you are hurting, it can be hard to think about the simplicity of life. (I am definitely guilty of overcomplicating my life.)
While we should never let our mental illness define us or limit us, we also shouldn’t treat it like a disease or terminal illness. When you realize that you are not completely broken, that it’s okay not to be okay, that really takes the pressure off and makes recovery more possible.
If I think about my compulsion to prepare for the day or a holiday for example, is it really so bad that I have to organize in a certain way and check it through a few times? Yes, it can be time-consuming and frustrating for others but if it makes me happy and isn’t doing me real harm, should I really be trying to change that?
It really makes me think, maybe it is about prioritizing our mental health. Maybe it is about only focusing on the things that really make life hard for ourselves or upset us and not spending so much time trying to change our habits to please our friends, family or society.
At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that we are keeping ourselves in recovery. That even on bad days, we can still find our feet and fight for our lives; for ourselves. There is a huge difference between a problem for others and a problem for you. We need to remember that.
Always look after your mental health. Keep yourself safe and make sure you have support but do not exhaust yourself and spend years trying to change for the sake of others, especially if it wears you down and causes you to relapse.
If you ever need to talk, or want to find someone else who may be able to relate to you, my DMs are always open on Twitter (@CUnderwoodUK) or you can contact me on my blog at charlotteunderwoodauthor.com.