Many people ask me “How did you overcome such a devastating illness?” when they learn that I have a major mental illness. I’m always honest and find it hard to grasp the words to convey to them the dilemmas and challenges that have helped to tackle this illness head on. So I’ll try to break it down in language one can understand. It’s the three steps that helped me.
1. 1. Be Headstrong
Being headstrong is your greatest asset Don’t let others make you feel unworthy because you’ve been given a bad prognosis. When I was in the psych ward of a VA hospital they had been telling my parents I’d have to live in a group home. Of course, I never felt anything was wrong with me even though there was but afterwards I recognized I had an illness and remained headstrong about tackling this illness, confronting it, and remaining on my medicine.
Illness is not something to be afraid of, and you can live a good life. Just be stubborn and headstrong about it.
2. 2. Patience
Always be patient with yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else, and you must practice patience in the fight. Nothing good ever came from hastiness, or negative affirmations about the crisis you are going through. You can and will overcome this illness with patience. Try meditation or breathing techniques to help you in times of stress.
3. 3.Tikkun Olam
The last step I learned in a World Religion class at AMU. “Tikkun Olam” or “Repair the World” is a Hebrew tradition. Once you feel you’ve overcome the illness or are managing it start “Repairing the World” with your story. Impact others with hope, grace, and transform negativity into positivity. This is the hardest step to accomplish, but you will.
Headstrong, Patience, and Tikkun Olam. Practice makes perfect too so when you feel you’ve failed a step remember it’s a learning process and to try again tomorrow.