It feels like I’ve seen an increase lately in posts from friends of mine who are struggling. The long months of winter in NE after the festive season is over tend to drag and leave everyone in kind of a blah mood.
If you are someone who is struggling right now — especially with addiction or trauma or mental health — let this be a reminder to extend yourself some grace. Healing is not linear. One relapse, one bad day, does not erase growth or negate the work you’ve done; it doesn’t automatically set you back to square one.
Be kinder to yourself. If it helps, imagine how you would feel and speak toward a dear friend struggling with the same issues and then direct that same patience and compassion inward. And, heh, if this advice sounds hypocritical to you, well, you might be right! I also struggle to have patience with myself in my own journey.
I’ve spent the last several years in therapy working on some complex PTSD, prompted by a series of anxiety attacks (pre-pandemic, if you can believe that!). I’ve struggled with depression my whole life and last month I was diagnosed with ADHD. I’m still recognizing and processing the many, many ways that this has made my life more challenging; I’ve been getting easily frustrated when I notice it derailing my day despite my best efforts; and I’ve been trying to keep myself from getting overwhelmed and paralyzed by the hoops to jump through to get appropriately medicated. I try to accept with grace that adequate self-care is more important than some measure of productivity. And I try to maintain perspective and remember that, at the end of the day, I am still me; and I — like you — am loved and worthy of love, kindness, and compassion.
It’s all a work in progress — but I’m still trying.
Let’s both keep at it. Deal?