Living with Mental Illness is possible...
Updated: Apr 28, 2019
It was years of constant struggle, a constant battle in my mind: positive self talk, followed by my negative echo: from as early as eight years old..
I quit. I give up. I don't see the point. I can't keep doing this. I'm overwhelmed and I hate this place and everyone around me. If only I could just get out of here, then I will be happy! I remember thinking, I wish I lived in my own world, my own planet: with no money, no corruption, no fighting, no loud voices or angry people or people who judge. I truly wanted to escape to anywhere but where I was! Unhappy, sad, confused, frustrated, and constantly crying, one day I heard the words that continue to resonate in my mind daily. "Kerri, just do what you love, and everything else will follow," said the most wisest of men i know; my dad!
Anyone that knows my dad understands he doesn't speak much, a very quiet person! When he chooses to speak, it is usually important, but if he is pointing while speaking in a loud stern voice, its then, you better be listening closely because he is saying something profound! I was always crying, so as he spoke I continued to cry and cry unable to believe I could enjoy everyday or even more, want to enjoy everyday. He said, "Kerri, You make your life what you want it to be wherever you are." I listened, I heard, but I didn't believe him, however I never forgot those words.
It was years of constant struggle, a constant battle in my mind: positive self talk, followed by my negative echo: from as early as eight years old. I didn't know at the time I had a negative echo, what I knew was that I had a negative voice constantly telling me I didn't fit in, I wasn't good enough, I wasn't pretty, too fat, I could go on; understand if it was a negative thought, I thought it and believed it! It doesn't help when you lose faith, regardless of what your faith is, without it, you have no purpose, nothing driving you to Live!.
When I got to a point when I truly felt I couldn't keep going, I gave up.....
I woke up, in a hospital where my loving, caring brother had taken me. In an attempt to escape from a feeling of hopelessness; causing constant nausea, crying, aches and pains, irrational thinking, bad decisions, I chose to consume too much medication (anti-anxiety) coupled with alcohol. The doctor said I had to be placed in an in-patient, psychiatric unit. I flipped! I had been training for a big triathlon and wasting time in a hospital was not in my pre-race plans. He was adamant, and I was placed in the hospital. (I realized after days of walking and running the halls, doing push-ups and sit-ups that this was in their eyes, crazy behavior and if I planned to get out of there I needed to tone it down!) Colored pencils and paper proved to be very soothing! I managed to convince them that I was feeling fine, just like I did to everyone that I surrounded myself with in my daily life! The difference is, I knew I wasn't, and I refused to leave the hospital until they enlisted me in their outpatient behavioral health program! This was the life changing event for me! I chose to listen to what the therapists were teaching; how to recognize our thoughts, feelings and actions, then make changes so the outcome is different than we had in the past. Make no mistake, changes do not happen overnight, nor do they take place without constant attention, hard work, and a support system. It has been five years of constant attention to my thoughts, feelings, and actions... but I can finally say, I believe you dad!
Positive is Powerful!
It's not about moving away, or complaining about everyone and everything around you, or generalizing everyone as a stereotype you made up in your mind... It's about taking initiative for who you are, what you are doing and choosing to make changes to enjoy everyday right where you are! It's about being proud of who you are and your unique qualities and talents, not comparing yourself to others, or trying to "fit-in." Opportunities... to enjoy each day, to learn, to grow, to develop...are all around us, everyday! Look around and see the great people, there are many!!! Stop focusing and wasting your energy on those that frustrate you... Look at the gorgeous views surrounding you, its truly beautiful! stop looking for what's "wrong" with it, and the reasons you want to escape..
Re-focus! Live a life you don't need to vacation from!
Start paying attention to what you say to yourself and to the people around you! Pay so much attention to becoming the best version of you, to improving the immediate community around you that you have no time or energy to worry or speak about someone else.
Surround yourself with the people who lift you up! Who help make you become the best version of you!!!
You are in control!!! you make your life what you want it to be regardless of where you are! So start Living! Make this the best year of your life! Celebrate your individuality! Embrace who you are and become the best version of yourself! Stop making excuses, and start making changes! Look for the positives, they are there!
Positive is Powerful! You have a choice to be happy!
My nana gave me a small, silver coin I kept with me at all times. On it, it said, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." Whether you believe in god or have faith in something else, the words are wise. We must understand there are things we cannot change, and there are things we can. The key is to learn there is a difference and act accordingly!
Why do I speak about the importance of positive self talk to our youth and adults wherever I get the opportunity?
I know I'm not alone and by speaking up and letting others know they too have the power to be happy regardless of their current situation, I may help just one person find the courage to start listening to their positive voice and taking appropriate action to learn to stop the negative echo. I want to help someone understand they should be proud of who they are, who they were born to be; to encourage them to become the best version of themselves!
Positive is Powerful! See from a different perspective!