The Path to Perfection – Impossible

June 13, 2017

I sat in the hospital room last Friday, wondering how the heck I had arrived back at the hospital. There were a myriad symptoms, but really, there must have been at least a partial influence from my own expectations. There always was, after all. This time, the doctors told me I actually have a much stronger biological component to my mental illnesses than initially thought. But I knew the other psychological component – I was still scared to leave my house and interact with other people.

All my most prized goals since my first hospitalization surrounded working on my social anxiety and (so I thought), thus my depression. These goals were rather lofty for one with social anxiety – join a yoga studio and attend classes, get a job out in the real world, or at least volunteer somewhere regularly. Start running again, but this time…outside. In the vicinity of other people. Make new friends in the neighbourhood. Order food without feeling like an avalanche will fall on my head if I stutter.

It’s no wonder that despite all my other accomplishments thus far, I focused on the unfilled checkboxes on my list of goals and made that one highly derogatory and falsely assumptive statement that ruins everything.

”Things will never change; I will always be a failure.”

As the days went on in the hospital, I avoided leaving my room. I felt no shame in that – I just needed time alone to think. There are some truths that I came upon during my 8-day stay at the hospital…virtually alone.

  1. Things do and WILL get better. And you need to be around to see it.
  2. All these extra goals are not set in stone. If you are not ready to go for a goal, there is absolutely no one who will force you to do it. Nor is there a need to hurry.
  3. When you are away from home in an isolated place, you start to appreciate the simpler things you have.
  4. In the Fall, I need to make an active effort to chill out. I’ll complete all my units eventually even if I will need another semester to get them done. I’ll do just fine even without labouring over schoolwork as I once did.
  5. Life should really be taken day by day, at least for someone like myself. I live too much in the past and the future, and so I miss the present. This is disastrous because as we know, the present is what is right there in front of us right now.
  6. I have been trying to recover perfectly, and there is no good reason for it. Life is a long journey, and no one ever said I had to recover from my mental illnesses and go the extra 8 kilometres over 8 months. Absolutely no one said that. But myself.

Ultimately, this hospital trip has taught me that I still have a long way to go to recover, and my timeline for recovery shouldn’t be constrained down to an impossible length of time. Being Kind To Myself (BKTM) requires acceptance of my current stage, and avoids comparing it against my perceptions of others’ stages in life. I mean, easier said than done but…at least I get the idea.

I want to do more with this blog than just write about mental health strategies. While I love to share what I’m learning to help others who are struggling or even people who are not but are curious. But there is so much more to me than this. It will take some time, but I’m sure I’ll be able to create a blog that feels right for me.

Always remember to love (ARTL),

Nicole (nicomochi)

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