Mental Health Adventures #1: Stability Quest

This will be kinda rambly. It’s definitely along the narrative freewriting route, but focused on talking about mental health issues. Hey, the brain is an organ that can go wonky, like many other organs in our bodies. The more we talk about it, the better off we’ll be.

It really does make a difference to get ready-to-use things. You end up wasting less because you actually use everything you buy. Plus, you don’t have that guilt of wasting stuff, which is like pouring salt on a mental illness wound you’re trying to heal.

(Don’t lecture me on landfills. I don’t have kids and I’m not a multinational corporation. Plus I get most of my clothes from thrift stores.)

A few of the things I’ve found useful:

It’s a lot easier to use those face cleansing cloths than it is to wash my face at the sink. Besides, I end up cleaning a little bit more than I would washing my face. Sometimes I also wipe up the sink if I remember.

Pre-cut cheese slices make breakfast and lunch easier to make.

Small, cheap bags of frozen veggies are easy to add to mac & cheese

Picking up my groceries is much easier. I even have a way to re-use the bags.

Buying large containers of certain things (mayonnaise, peanut butter, coffee, sugar) is easier than buying everything in bulk.

It’s amazingly easy to fill a crock pot full of chicken at my last break and have it ready for dinner. Sides vary to keep things interesting.

Chili bean spaghetti is a very quick yet filling meal.

Ah yes, that whole stability thing. Doing all of the above makes it easier to start to develop a new routine, now that work issues have resolved themselves in my favor. I finally have the freedom to set my schedule, which means I can fuss with it a little as I get a grasp of what I need to do and how much time it really takes to get various things done.

It’s hard to get used to the fact that I’ve finally reached the next plateau and it’s time to get in the mode of making the most of the present. Primarily because of what’s going on in the world and in my country. I try not to focus too much on things I have no control over, or that will be emotionally taxing because it’s one of the world’s horrors. I just want people to choose love over fear. It’s too much to ask for, unfortunately.

I have to temper how much new stuff I take on, as I don’t want to get overwhelmed. I need to be kind to myself and focus on being productive. The rest will continue to fall into place.

It’s still sinking in that I’m on the mend. I can deal with grief in a healthy way, and most importantly, I have my Sweetie’s and my Darling’s love to help me through it. To be loved as I am, through a flare-up of mental illness, was part of the reason I didn’t have breakdown. (Prozac and weed are the other part. Better THC than benzos…)

I know I still have to navigate through a couple of “seasons” through the year (birthday/wedding season and widowhood season, plus the holidays), but love really does help me focus on the present and future. Taking a moment to process feelings is a normal part of these times, too. Making the effort to do the internal work to give the past a slip has paid off in the long run. Was it easy? Not really. I finally realized that it was going to hurt me more if I didn’t confront the things I kept putting off. (Yay, Amour Fou.)

My point? Do the work, but don’t forget there’s a life to build once you’re stable. You owe it to yourself to find happiness now that you’re on the mend. Be kind to yourself and realize that it’s a delicate time that still requires self-care.

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