Life

Live a life worth living with mental health.

I have worked so hard to be where I am. It has not been a perfect journey. There have been so many mistakes and failures that I thought I wasn’t destined for anything great. I thought I would be known for the rest of my life as a mentally sick person who lacked the ability to care for themselves.

Mental illness almost tore my life away from me with both hands. Good thing I have a strong grip (though my brother would argue otherwise). Think about where you are right now. What you are doing right now? Everything around you are symbols of your power or lack of power over mental illness.

Are you making it through the day? Yes, we all have those moments when we wake up, live through an hour and think, “Oh I am so done with today.” I know that I have done that 150 million times and I’ll continue to do it at times as I live my life.

But in all reality I love life. I love everything about it. I love all the colors. I love animals. I love seasons. I love traveling and exploring the world. I love baking. I love writing. I love art. I love fashion. I love my cold Northwest Pacific coastline. I love listening to the waves crash and the sounds of crickets at my house. (I will admit that I do not love owls. Forget other birds… Owls are the worst with their deep old man sounding grunts that never end!)

Life is something to be cherished. It is something to be appreciated. Life gives us so much to experience and provides so many opportunities to explore and color our lives into something beyond imagination.

We can feel so much and feel deeply. It is a blessing and a curse. It is important to remember that everything has its opposite. The only reason you know that you feel sad, hopeless, depressed, anxious, guilt, shame, or any other negative feeling is because you know what the opposite feels like- happy, hope, content, peace, forgiveness, confidence, and I could keep going.

You might feel like you have never felt those positive feelings in your life, but you have; even if it was only for a sliver of a moment. You are human, you have lived through the spectrum of emotions that define us as human and accompanies all life experiences.

I remember it being very hard to get up in the morning. This was during my darkest time and I had lost all drive to get up and leave my room. I just wanted to sleep and dream life away because that would be less painful. But I was wrong. As I continued to heal and improve, I realized that I was wasting precious time escaping everything. I was escaping because of pain, but I was also missing out on all forms of happiness.

That isn’t life. That is mental suicide. It means giving up on all dreams, ambitions, goals, relationships, hobbies, work, travel, and all basic human experiences that you have the right to have because you were born!

Life isn’t easy. It isn’t simple and it seems like one problem after the next; all demanding a solution. I don’t know about you, but it always seems like the problems only get harder to deal with. When this happens, it is not the time to curl up in the comforters and wish the problems away. That isn’t fair to you and that isn’t fair to life as it is begging you to live it.

Simple life means breathing. If you ever have a moment where everything is too much; just stop whatever you are doing, close your eyes, and just breathe. Breathe calm in and the problems out.

I have had moments where I had to walk myself through every little task because the concept of dealing with more than one task felt like a bug hitting a car going at high speeds. I was determined not to be the bug with its butt through its head which equals death. (Sorry for the gross imagery.)

It was hard to do my simple morning routine. This is how the conversation went with myself every morning.

“Okay Kajsa, all you need to do is sit up.”

“Now stand up.”

“Just walk to the bathroom.”

“Focus on turning the shower on.”

“All you need to do right now is wash your hair.”

Etc. , Etc. , Etc. , and so forth.

That is how I lived for a while, until I could move on to coping with more than one task at a time. You know what the interesting thing is? It was okay. It was alright that I spoke that way to myself for a time. I wasn’t being negative and not exactly positive, but it kept me going as I gave myself little easy commands that helped me live life to my best ability at the time, even though it wasn’t very much.

Life is waiting for you and it is willing to accept any effort you can put into it. Do your best. That is all that is asked. That is enough. You are enough. As you get your life back into full swing, it is important to remember that it only takes one action to live- to breathe and you already know that you are a champion at that. Because of that, you have proved to yourself that you can live life… And if you can live life, then you can love life.

Just start by breathing.


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