Heal your own way – a writer’s mental health journey

I must say this after last year, and even though what we are all experiencing to this day: No one can tell you how to heal.

In my short journey of trying to feel better, I’ve been going back to different ways to express myself. I had been taking my time figuring out what makes me feel better and what I would like to try in the future. Lately, I’ve taken up running. Next on the list is ice skating.

Writing and books have always been my escape. They still are, but even when I was healing, I found it difficult to concentrate. In fear of triggering myself and feeling like I had a setback, hindering the “progress” I made.

Honestly, when and after life comes at you hard, healing is difficult. In the beginning you believe that you will always feel like you’re in a pit of despair.

That is how I felt at the beginning of last year. I felt like I would be there forever with no escape and continued suffering. As I write this, it is not the case. And I know that’s obvious, especially when you go through it and far from what has hurt you. But being in the trenches means a different mindset.

What I’ve learned in the progress I’m making is this:

  • 1. Patience is something that you have to develop. You may think you’re patient, but when it comes to healing it’s an ongoing process.
  • 2. Anchoring yourself to something helps. In my experience, my faith has been something that’s helped tremendously.
  • 3a. Reflecting on boundaries and creating new ones. This requires recollection back into what hurts, but it serves as a lesson you can use for next time.
  • 3b. Unpack that ish. By any means necessary. Going to a therapist (while we’re still in this pandemic, tele-therapy is great), or even journaling can help. Don’t let crap stew in your brain so you keep thinking about it. Unpack the things that have been sitting in the attic of your head and learn to let go.
  • Take a break from things you love and just be. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I sat in front of the tv or computer consuming video content. It was refreshing. Now, why stopped doing things I loved is because I had to break out of a routine and expectation that if I did these things, I would be instantly “normal” or “fine.”

You can take whatever you want from this list to help in your journey — but like I said in the beginning, no one can tell you how to heal. Things you try to help may not always work, but keep trying something that you think would help. And be kind to yourself.

Editor’s Note: Here is a link to my best friend’s, Shali, website. Shali is a licensed therapist who is putting in work to make sure people have tools for self care. She has a couple of downloadable tools (and cute merch) that you can use to check-in on your mental health.

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