Author: Trevor Simonson
Five years ago. I was getting familiar with depressive and hypomanic episodes. As a 17 year old kid, I was about to say goodbye to everything I thought I knew about myself. What follows is a journey of victories and setbacks. Highs and lows. A story of survival.
And as the show goes on, I am continuing to discover who I am. New triggers, new ways to cope. Most importantly, I am discovering the things that fill me up. The things that I love about life.
I am in this survival story until the end so I am loving the happy pages.
I am discovering a new love for running. I always enjoyed running, but I never made a commitment to it. I lose myself in my long runs, forgetting about my illness and all that comes with it. I appreciate having to dig deep during the low points, I find happiness in grinding through the pain. I am now able to stretch my long runs to half-marathon distance. I feed on running solo. Just me gliding through easy miles and persevering through the tough ones. Running gives me opportunities to set new goals, and put in the work to meet them.
I am excited when I see the people I care about succeeding. Life is a lot brighter when I can celebrate the victories of others. Watching people make progress is especially meaningful when I know some of the hard times that they have been through. The victories of others can give me hope and positive energy to keep fighting, to believe in myself. Even when I am in a severe depressive episode, I still love hearing about others that are doing well. It makes me thankful that light still remains in this world.
Perhaps the most important thing I am learning is gratitude. I have had so much help from so many people over the years. From hospital visits to letting me into their homes, people have always been there for me. I am thankful for the serious conversations, and all the laughs in between. I hold a special place in my heart for the people who have stuck by me through the hard times in my life. When I don’t want to live for myself, I find myself living for the ones who have walked beside me. I am so blessed to be surrounded with so many caring people in my life.
Having the opportunity to speak out about my experiences with mental illness has been a wonderful thing for me. I am so thankful that what I write has been able to create conversation surrounding mental health. It is gratifying to receive messages from the people who appreciate what I write. I am happy to make a positive difference. I could not ask for anything more.