Just because you have a mental health relapse doesn’t mean you have lost all your progress.
It’s easy to believe that one day you’re going to wake up and be completely fine: your mind will be clear and all self-doubt will fade.
Unfortunately, being human entails a zigzag pattern of emotions. There’s never a straight line that guides you toward feeling your best.
It’s okay to get upset over something you thought you moved on from. Emotions can come back and remind you of your past self and what you used to deal with. These things hurt because they meant something, and they are pieces of your journey to healing.
In my own life, I sometimes have breakdowns and think to myself…
“Oh, I’m actually not in a better headspace. I thought I was.”
Sometimes these moments come during the day when I’m just hanging out, or appear as self-deprecating thoughts that creep in the dark while I'm lying in bed. You start to rethink everything.
In reality, your mind is just playing tricks on you.
You have to give yourself more credit. No one is happy all the time—that would be kind of scary! It’s unrealistic to ask ourselves to never feel sad or unmotivated.
Any part of healing involves moments of weakness and questioning. I’ll get upset about things that I went through in high school, but this doesn’t mean I’m mentally back in the place I was in 5 years ago. I am a completely different person in the best way possible, but how could I not remember where my mental state used to be?
My personal healing journey related to my level of self-esteem. I have more confidence today than any other time in my life. But, of course, there are moments when I feel drained of confidence, and that’s perfectly normal.
Years ago, I felt lost with no explanation. I felt like I was going through the motions and that the light inside me was dimmed. The thoughts I had were along the lines of:
I wish I had more confidence.
Why can’t I be more vulnerable with people?
When am I going to be happier?
I want to fast forward to the good part.
It was nothing drastic, but I think everyone goes through these times. Going to college was actually the first step on my path of healing. College was helping me become a better version of myself, and I didn’t even consciously realize this as it was happening. I think that’s when I found college to be a main source for my healing.
You tend to heal and grow without even knowing it, and I believe this is often the best way. The people I have met have aided me in more ways than they may think. Being uplifted by those around me made the biggest difference, and I cannot thank them enough for making me feel so at home.
In times when I doubted my strength, I reassured myself that I am trying my best. Sometimes, that is all you can do. I also forced myself to remember that everything that does need to be perfect in the present moment. I have so many years ahead of me that will be filled with even more happiness. Everything does not need to be sorted out now. Time allows many beautiful things to happen, even unexpected events.
It’s important to understand that those moments of vulnerability and weakness do not determine your whole being.
Sometimes random and intrusive thoughts enter your stream of consciousness. Again, this does not mean that you are back to square one. This is just a curve in your healing journey. It hasn’t paused or stopped, it is still advancing forward!