Counting My Blessings

It’s only been in the last few years where I’ve been able to think positively about my mental illness and force myself to think positively when I’m feeling depressed – basically fake it till you make it. And I’ve made it, for the most part.  I’ve become good at looking in the mirror and giving myself positive reinforcement and making positive statements in the morning right when I get up in order to set myself up for a good day. I feel stupid sometimes, but it works!

As of lately I’ve been counting my blessings and assessing the positive parts of my illness.  Five years ago, I probably would have thought of zero. Today, I can think of plenty.

1. Empathy

It’s extremely easy for me to empathize with other people.  It seems to me we are more aware of our friends and family who are struggling, whether it be because of social media or because mental illness is slowly being more easily talked about.  I find myself being able to identify those struggling even when they don’t show it, as I know the signs. I have been there.  I have showed them.  I feel for that person and will do my best to help where I can.

2.  Bravery

I have never been so brave in my entire life than I have in the past few years. I have fought through many barriers and continue to do so, fearlessly (well, for the most part).  Starting this blog was one of the scariest times of my life, and each post I reveal more about myself, but I do so because it’s important to talk about mental illness.  I now power through each high and low and panic attack, because I know I’ve made it through each time before.

3. Creativity

I’ve always been a really creative person.  I started writing poems (Looking back at them…LOL) at 14 and moved forward with poetry and short stories, doing poetry jams and live readings.  Writing is an outlet for me.  I’d like to say I’m good at painting or drawing but I am NOT.  It’s horrifying.  But I still enjoy it! Music is a big part of my life – I played drums for 10 years and wrote songs and played guitar.  And so on…..

I’m not so sure I’d have these interests if I didn’t have a mental illness.  Or at least not be as passionate about them.  Creativity is an outlet for me.

4. Appreciation for life

I have an appreciation for life on a whole other level.  I appreciate goodness in my life.  A good day is a great day.  Each good moment is a great moment.  When I have a good sleep or go a whole day without feeling anxious or feel motivated enough to work out during the winter – it is a treat!

Concentrating on the positives of my struggles works wonders on each day.