Hey, you! Do you not see that you, that we, deserve congratulations? Consider:
You were once at death’s door but you were pulled through. You were barely alive but you hung on, having found your grit, and a great deal of help. I congratulate you on surviving. Now, you’re trying to thrive. Well done. You deserve congratulations.
It was many months of struggling with an illness that wore you out. Someone called it Major Depressive Disorder and you began to learn. You learned tools to manage it. Sometimes successfully. Sometimes not.
Later, the name was changed to Bipolar II Disorder. This gave you a new direction in which to learn and a search for new tools. As before, new tools were hit and miss. The search continues. You haven’t given up hope. In fact, you work to find ways to grow hope. And you keep an open mind, a mind forever searching for new tools.
You’ve done well so far. But despite this, there’s something you don’t tell yourself much: congratulations! Congratulations on the work and the growth.
A Survivor, You Choose Life
You choose to accept life and all of its uncertainties and challenges. I understand that there are many days when you don’t want to be here, yet you still are. Despite the pain and suffering, you’re still here. You’re a survivor, and survivors are the strongest of people.
Sharing to Heal is Another Affirmation of Life
You learned to share, which deserves congratulations of its own. Making this choice was hard. You’d suffered in silence for so long that it became a bad habit. You saw the horror that silence can bring. Your near-death showed you that. You resolved not to face that again. So you share and you heal. Sharing to heal, that’s an affirmation of life.
Sharing is brave. You don’t hide your frailty or fear. The most permanent example of this is your blog where you expose both, opening yourself to ridicule. On some days you feel deserving of this. Most days, you share so that others might benefit from the lessons that you’ve learned. Congratulations on that blog.
Learning is Your Constant Goal
You’ve done more. You’ve taken the time to learn about your illness and its treatments. Many are beyond your ability to afford, so you make do with books and online resources to help. You follow the lessons in those books and online resources diligently, finding a way to make them work for you. Sometimes this isn’t easy but you do it anyway.
Recovery: Slow, Mixed, Ongoing
All these things propel your recovery. I congratulate you on how far it’s come. Remember, it was you who pursued it steadfastly. You kept an open mind and tried new things and recovered old ones. Do you remember those days in high school when you’d meditate before an exam? Well, you’ve restored that practice only now it’s to aid your recovery.
Ah yes, recovery. You were scared to be alone and scared to be with people. Those fears helped bring you to the very brink of death. You decided that you needed to be with people to preserve life. You were right, it’s helped keep you here. Congratulations on having that insight.
Nonetheless, you accept that recovery, healing, is far from linear. You’ve had many challenges and setbacks that show you this. You exhibit resilience, finding a way forward.
By now you get the point. You’ve done a great deal to help yourself heal. YOU have. Take pride in what you’ve accomplished. Congratulate yourself for it. It’s well deserved.
I’ll leave you now to think upon this letter. But before I do, I offer you this affirmation:
YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay