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the inconvenience of mental illness

I have a tendency to spiral with my emotions. If I don’t get an invite to a friend’s party, I get upset thinking about what I possibly could have done wrong or done better in our relationship. I go back to the time in third grade when a girl told me, “It’s not our fault we don’t like you.” If someone doesn’t laugh at my joke I chastise myself for being so loud-spoken and crass. If people don’t sit by me at a function I tell myself it’s because I’m fat and ugly and no one wants to be associated with me. I focus on how much better everyone would be without me.

Typing this out makes me see how absurd it is, but mental illness doesn’t care about that. 

Depression isn’t reasonable. Anxiety isn’t sensible. 

Mental illness doesn’t wait on your current situation. Anxiety will strike when you’re in the middle of a fun outing and you can’t breathe. Depression will attack while hiking and you’re overcome with sobs in the middle of the park. 

But we shouldn’t let mental illness define us or stop us from enjoying our lives. Even if you can’t accomplish everything you wanted, praise yourself for starting a task. Celebrating progress is so important. And even if you can’t get out of bed today, that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. 

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