New Years is a time for a new beginning and a fresh start. It is a time to let go of the pain from our past and focus on today, now, and the future. I have a lot of pain from my past, depression, fear, psychosis, anxiety, emotional eating, and low self-esteem. 2013 is about improvement and progression in my journey of mental health recovery. I’m going to let go of my past and focus on three key coping skills-inner healing, spirituality, and self-love.
My inner healing has been a rocky journey. It has taken me almost 15 years to get to this point of mental health recovery and although, I have not been magically cured, I have learned coping skills and found a good medication regimen. I work with my psychiatrist and therapist to continue to progress. A few months ago I learned the term “reality testing.” My psychiatrist introduced the term to me during a session in which I expressed that my psychosis was making me fearful and anxious. I would go into these phases in which I would come in and out of reality. I would be talking to a work colleague and suddenly get a delusion in which I thought they were a demon in disguise. I would continuously have to conduct reality testing in which I would tell myself that the person was not a demon but simply a kind work colleague and we were just having a conversation. Although medication helps control symptoms, it doesn’t mean I they are gone forever. However, with positive coping skills such as reality testing, mental health recovery is possible.
Another one of my favorite coping skills is my spirituality. On May 19, 2012, I received my sacrament of confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church. Every time I go to confession, it feels like a therapy session. Father John, my Priest, has really helped me get through some difficult times. I go to church on a regular basis and I feel so much peace in my mind, body, and soul. I have had a strong faith in God since I was very young. I’m so blessed that my mother taught me about God and having mountain moving faith. My faith in God has helped me cope with depression. I no longer obsess over suicide. I have learned how to truly love and embrace life. I could’ve lost my life during my last suicide attempt. I overdosed at about 10:00pm and my roommate at the time didn’t realize what I did. She didn’t call 911 until 7:00a.m, when I fell off the bed and was coming in and out of consciousness. Looking at the bigger picture, I see it as a miracle that I survived a horrible suicide attempt. I have learned to appreciate life and everyone in it. I have promised myself to never go down that path again. If it wasn’t for prayer and mountain moving faith, I would not be at this point of mental health recovery.
Finally self-love is a coping skill that will enrich my life and self-esteem. I have suffered with an eating disorder since middle school. I remember starving myself so bad that I could see my rib cage. By the time I got to high school, I no longer starved myself but would use food as comfort. I became an emotional eater. I’m still an emotional eater. I eat when I’m depressed. I eat when I have anxiety and I eat when I’m bored. I realize how horrible that is. My coping skill for the New Year is self-love. If I love myself, I will take care of myself and aim to be in excellent health. I have a gym membership and will join weight watchers. It doesn’t help that medication causes weight gain and increased appetite. Therefore, I will combat those side-effects by working extra hard to get fit. This means eating healthy and exercise.
My three coping skills will aid me in my mental health recovery. Inner healing, spirituality, and self-love will help me improve and progress in my life. Through this journey, there is always room for improvement and progression. So I invite you to come with me on this journey of mental health recovery. Happy New Year! I’m sending all of you my positive energy, best wishes, and blessings from God.