We are always in a hurry. Everyone’s always rushing around trying to get everything done in a flash, especially this time of year. With the holidays coming, we are trying so hard to send our cards out, buy gifts, plan meals, and wrap gifts. We lose track of things like the meaning of the holidays, the feel of the sun on our face, the meaning of life, the kindness of a stranger, and so on. When you’re working towards recovery from mental illness, you want to rush the process. You want to get better right away, but unfortunately, it takes time. You have to take it one day at a time.
Recently I have been reminded to slow down and not to push myself. I got sick last month with a cold that turned into a viral infection and into a sinus infection. I worried about work, my writing, and editing my memoir. I didn’t have time to be sick, but my husband told me my health comes first. He sentenced me to the couch to sleep and watch television. The doctor told me I needed to take time off from work and to rest. I hated the idea of missing work, but Lou made sure I stuck to it. I had to take it one day at a time.
Patience was also something I had to learn while working towards recovery. I wanted the sadness to go away over-night, but unfortunately, it didn’t work that way. After my ex-boyfriend threw me out, I went into the hospital, and in the hospital I decided I wanted to get better. I wanted to live a normal life. I wanted to find happiness and live in the light.
After I left the hospital, I started seeing a new therapist, I went to a therapy group, and I started on new medication. I even began going to church with my parents. After some time off I returned to work. I was doing all the right things, but yet I cried in therapy, I sat alone in my room, and I struggled to stop injuring. I still had so much hurt in me from the abuse of my ex, and my sadness wouldn’t just go away. I wanted it to just disappear, but it took time.
Day by day I worked hard towards recovery. It seemed like progress was slow. My therapist had to remind me to take it one day at a time. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. I had to change years of negative thinking, I had to heal old wounds, I had to rediscover myself, and I had to learn to love myself. That’s a lot of work.
I worked hard and over a few years I started to find some happiness, but yet I kept falling into episodes of depression. Each day I wrote in my journal and practiced positive thinking, yet I kept falling back into the hole.
I remembered the hymn, “One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus.” The chorus sang in my mind,
“One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.”
That part reminded me I had to take each day one at a time and I need the heavenly father’s help to do it. No one knows what tomorrow holds for us. We have to slow down and be patient. I slowed down and prayed. God introduced me to my husband, we started couple therapy, and with his help and in time the episode of depression went away. In time I reached recovery.
So, don’t rush your days away and don’t hurry your recovery. Slow down and take it one day at a time. Go to therapy, work on your thinking, fight with all that’s in you, but be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. It may take months or years, but in time you’ll reach recovery. Pray to Jesus for the strength and guidance. Take it one day at a time for we never know what tomorrow holds. Tomorrow the sun might shine even brighter. Pace yourself and learn from the journey.
Now and again I have to be reminded to slow down and enjoy each day, but since I learned to take it one day at a time, I am enjoying Jesus’s light shining down upon me.