1. You’ve had to struggle. Struggle makes people grow in strength, wisdom and compassion. When we are happy, we can relax. You’ve had to constantly work. You are a better person for that, and incredibly strong because of it.
2. You’ve had to deal with stigma, misconceptions, ignorance, and your well-meaning friend that keeps telling you her cousin Mary cured her depression with yoga. You’ve opened up to someone about your mental illness and they’ve changed the subject because they’re not able to hear it. You’ve had to deal with a lot of total crap and that takes strength.
3. You’ve had to deal with a double standard. Joe Jenkins broken his leg and he’s so brave. Everyone is bringing him flowers, signing his cast, and making him apple pie. You broke your brain and everyone is ignoring you. You are strong, dude.
4. You’ve had to keep showing up. Showing up to waiting rooms and reading magazines from 1996, showing up to tell your story for the millionth time, showing up to groups, therapy, doctors, psychiatrists… It’s strong to show up.
5.You’ve had to carry your intense emotions, other people’s emotions, and perhaps the world on your shoulders as well. You’re empathetic. It’s way easier not to care. You’ve sat with people with mental illness and listened, when others have turned away because they are afraid of vulnerable emotions and real conversations. You care and that takes strength.
6. You’ve had to figure out treatment which can feel like endless trial and error. You can’t just put a cast on your brain. There’s not one magical therapy method or pill. You’ve tried acupuncture, exercise, affirmations, “I feel great… kind of.. errr…” talking about your dog fluffy running away when you were 6, CBT, DBT, and other latest-acronym-therapies. It takes strength to keep trying to figure out a treatment plan that works.
Those are my ideas for the day! I’d love you hear yours about why people who have mental illness are strong, NOT weak! Thanks for reading!