When I woke up this morning, a familiar sensation of dread took over me. Thoughts of, “I have to do this,” “I can’t do this,” “What if I don’t do this?” filled my mind. I wanted to go back to sleep and hide from the world.
As much as I’d like to say I rarely have these mornings, the fact is I have them far too often. I wake up most days to the constant reminder that I live with a mental illness. And if I’m not immediately met with feelings of fear about how the day will pan out, they’re present as I go to take my medication. Recovery is a journey, and some days it’s hard to accept that I will always have to live with my OCD, depression, and anxiety.
It is easy to be consumed by these feelings of loneliness and failure. Instead of believing that I am a valued and significant person who just happens to struggle with mental illness, I begin to believe that I am my illness.
But every day I must remind myself that I am not.
I am not my depression.
I am not my anxiety.
I am not these days of darkness.
I am not a lost cause.
Today was different. Today I decided I’d had enough of waking up feeling isolated and afraid. Today I wanted to feel alive, to embrace the fact that I am living and breathing. Today I wanted to celebrate new beginnings.
So I said to myself, “You are beautiful. You are loved. You are enough.” I repeated this to myself over and over, believing that eventually I would know these words to be true.
“You are beautiful.”
Even when you don’t feel good enough. Even when you don’t fit the mould. Even when other people don’t tell you this.
“You are loved.”
Even when you’re alone. Even when everyone else seems to have someone and you don’t. Even when you don’t feel capable of being loved.
“You are enough.”
Even when you’ve done nothing in the day except hide under the covers. Even when you relapse. Even when you forget why you started.
Now that I have started challenging my negative thoughts, I want to change the game and have more good mornings than bad. So I’m going to keep trying to remind myself of these truths. If you struggle to get these words out of your mouth, say them with me:
“I am beautiful. I am loved. I am enough.”
We will believe them for each other because we know they are true. We know that no one else can play our part in this world. And eventually, as we keep saying these words and believing them for one another, they will become true for us as well.
We will continue to fight for the happy days we deserve, and we will get there because we have each other. Here’s to not doing the journey alone. Here’s to more good mornings than bad.