When you have a bad mental breakdown it is without doubt the lowest point you can reach in life. You need help and support to help you begin your difficult journey from utter turmoil to at the very least, functioning properly again. Everything is ten times as hard as it once was, so you begin to rely on those who care for you even more and sometimes, you can even unfortunately, become comfortable with being looked after.
When ill, we often look to others for answers to our illness, we consult our doctors, our nurses, our friends, family, even sometimes psychics in some situations, in the hope we can find equilibrium again.
The truth is that the only person who has the complete control over whether you get well again or not, whether you like to admit it or realise it, is YOU.
In this blog post I will discuss the importance of becoming your own hero in your battle to regain good mental health.
Stage 1. Taking the blame
I remember, quite clearly, asking myself why???! Why has this happened to me??! Why am I in such a bad place and my life is not what I thought it would be?! Why???
I needed answers and I was struggling to find them. I blamed everyone from the government not distributing jobs and wealth around the UK equally, to the greed of people borrowing too much money in 2008, to banks being too risky. There had to be a reason to why my life had ended up being the way it had.
The reason for my mental breakdown was everyone else’s fault but my own…until I realised… I WAS the cause of my own misery.
Realising that you cause your own misery is the first step into becoming your own hero.
Stage 2. Forgive yourself
Making peace with your past is an important step in progressing your mental health to a place of well being. Understanding what happened to you in your past may or may not have been your own fault but forgiving yourself for experiencing what you did can help bring you some closure and allow you to move on into the present and future.
Once cause of depression can be because there is something in our past that bothers us , we can’t forgive ourselves for what happened, for bad decisions made or for allowing ourselves to be hurt in the way we were.
TASK : Write down how you feel about a bad time in your life, something you cant forget and put all your emotion and feeling into it. Next, light a candle and in a controlled environment, burn the piece of paper away along with your memory. The act of doing this can help you realise you can let your past go and move on.
Understanding that we all make mistakes and allowing yourself to forgive yourself is stage two of becoming your own hero.
Stage 3. Living in the present
Once you have made peace with your past and started to let it go, your next step is to start thinking about your present moment rather than your future.
A good practice already mentioned is the practice of gratitude for what you currently have rather than what you don’t.
It may not be much but even the smallest things to be grateful for can help you realise life isn’t quite as bad as first observed.
Stage 4. Realise no one can help you the most than YOURSELF
The truth be known, no one cares about you as much as your family and yourself, everyone else doesn’t really and I realised this from an early age that people in general are self centred.
I believe that humans, by nature, are self driven and egocentric animals.
A doctor is a doctor to of course help people, but sometimes , just like any other profession, is to bring home a wage to live on.
Albeit some do have empathy and genuinely want the best for the people they meet, where as some ( and I have met some ) that just prescribe you a medication that is mentioned under a list of your ‘illness’ rather than seeing you as an individual case, with individual reasons for your sickness as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next patient and get their day over with.
EXAMPLE : You may be the most compassionate and kind person, always thinking of others but why do you do this in the first place? There is an underlining reason and it is for a selfish reason probably of either wanting to be liked, wanting to feel good or that you are nice to people or done something good.
I am not suggesting it is not good to be good, in fact it is very good for you and the person you meet that you always are kind and compassionate, what I am trying to say here is that only YOU have your best intentions at heart, everyone else is only helping for their own personal gain in some way.
The sooner you realise that you are your best ally in this war on your own mental health then the more empowered you can recover from your illness. It was at this point that I really got fired up and ready to take on my problems, for you it may be at a different stage.
Therapists and doctors and even people like myself can guide you along your way to a healing path but YOU must walk the path and YOU must fight the hard fight.
Stage 5. Set achievable goals and progress
Stage three of becoming your own hero is in setting goals. You need to retrain your mind to stop thinking negatively and do things to alleviate the mood.
Setting goals helps you start to alter your perception of reality and gives you something to aim for, it is a vital human trait that we have something to live for and by setting goals we are giving ourselves purpose again.
When I was on my road to recovery I had three main goals.
- Learn Spanish fluently to expand my job opportunities in other countries.
- Get myself fit . To begin with I used Wii fit and walked the new family dog Harry aroundthe block at least twice a day, setting further distances as time progressed as extra goals.I lost 2 stone doing this in 4 to 6 months.
- Improve my ability in web and graphic design.
Goals are powerful motivators when you want to achieve them with all your hearts desire.
Stage 5. Do whatever it takes to bring your life back on track
YOU are reading this, YOU want to get better, that is great ! YOU can do it, YOU have to believe in YOURSELF , no one else will believe in YOU as much as YOURSELF. Some people will try to pull YOU down, some people will try to make out YOU can’t. Can you?
Whether you think you can or you can’t you are right
The message here from Henry Ford is it is mind over matter, whatever you think is possible IS possible! If you tell yourself you can’t get well or it is going to be long and hard then it WILL BE ! Whatever you feed your mind it will become, if you listen to self doubt then you will doubt yourself where as if you challenge your self doubt and you BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, you ignore society at large, you ignore the negative thoughts and then you become your own hero prepared to stand alone and change…
ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
My personal situation led me to applying for jobs ( I knew this was an important part of my healing) all over the country (pushed myself to any circumstance), getting one in London (still on Citalopram to control depression and anxiety) and relocating. Having held the job down for 3 years, 1 day off and still improving every day I am choosing to be my own hero.
Be your own hero today, realise you can only rely on yourself even with the help of others and start aiming to make your life that little bit better! There is no better time to change your life around than right now, watch the video above and thanks for reading!