Here’s to the Work

There was a time when I believed that life could be understood through symbols, mythology and story telling. Largely, I still believe that.

However, when it comes to mental health, that does not apply. There is no poetry in mental illness. You’re either functioning, or you’re not. Symbols and mythology don’t do any good here. If you try to make sense of it, you’re just going to be spinning your tires forever. The best way through, is to focus on the present, use the tools you have, acquire new tools as you can and slog through the best you can. It works. You might still be broken, but you get by. Then one day, you notice that things aren’t that bad and you can pass for a reasonably functioning adult.

That’s recovery.

That’s why it’s so frustrating to find myself back at a place wherein I am focused on a past that I can’t change. I had put it away for nearly a decade, and after finally getting the right diagnosis, I’ve been well, for the most part, for four years.

My therapist tells me this means that my mind is signalling that I’m finally safe enough to reckon with what happened to me. There’s a part of me that would really rather pack it all back away, because, up until a few weeks ago, I was functioning.

However, I’m not so much now, and with mental health, that’s all it comes down to. You’re either functioning, or you’re not. When you’re not, you have to do the work. So, here’s to the work.

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