Did you make your commitment for the New Year? Did you start taking your first steps? Don’t expect major progress right away. This is a huge battle you are engaging in. It’s not going to be easy, and right now you need to celebrate even the smallest accomplishment, like making your first appointment with your therapist or psychiatrist. Take note of your progress each day or week.
This week has been a trial for me. I have been trying so hard to fight my worries about my surgery. It seemed like the doctor’s office was taking forever to schedule my surgery. I was getting worried. How could I plan up and coming birthdays? Would I have enough time to tell work? How long would I have to suffer? Would they schedule my surgery around my husband’s birthday and I’d be too miserable to celebrate? The worries went on and on.
Monday I called the doctor’s office and they told me they were backed up and they would get to it when they could. My worries became endless. I tried to think of something else, but couldn’t. I tried to journal about it, but my emotions began to flood me. I went to work and a coworker asked about my surgery and I started crying. I thought I had failed at accomplishing my commitment. My husband reminded me that one slip does not mean I messed up. It just means I have to fight harder. I had to step back and look at what went wrong and find a better way to combat the worries.
I picked up an adult coloring book for when I’m off for surgery. After my breakdown, once I got home, I started coloring in my book. I found that it kept my mind busy and helped me relax. That night I began to feel better and I got a call that my surgery was scheduled for January 19th. I celebrated the fact that I found a new way to help deal with my worries by treating myself to a sweet snack.
A surgery date brought on new worries, like what if something goes wrong with the surgery? What if the recovery takes longer? What if they go in and find more wrong? What will I do while Lou’s at work? What if I get an infection?
I faced the worries step by step, day by day. I decided to focus on preparing for my surgery and looking forward to having four weeks off from work.
Wednesday came along. I did the blood work required by my doctor; I went to physical therapy and later relaxed at home with my husband. That night my husband looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you. All day you did not worry about anything.” I thought about it and agreed. He asked me how it felt and I said, “It feels really good.” The next day we went out to supper to celebrate.
Fighting mental illness will not happen overnight. You will make small accomplishments and you will fall down. The recovery process can be slow and rough, but don’t give up. At first you might not even notice a change, but in time you will make some progress. Celebrate every accomplishment you make, even if it’s little. Don’t give up when you slip. Just keep fighting. Stick to your commitment. Don’t give up because you’re worth the fight.
I’m willing to keep fighting to fulfill my commitment. It will take a lot of work, but I’m ready and willing to fight. My determination will help me stand within the light.