So Far, So Good

“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.”

– Julian Seifter

So far, so good.

Still sticking to a pretty self-care-oriented lifestyle. I haven’t been in the trenches of this new battle too terribly long, so fingers remain crossed.

Routine is key, and after a healthy breakfast, my day kicked off with a walk around the city park – my hometown’s only claim to fame (one of the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates took place there – kind of cool actually). The park is near the town square, but still as far away as ever too, tucked in all snug behind a thick tree line that leads to a forest of a park.

I walked the winding, manmade trails over tree roots and animal tracks. I had forgotten how many laps a mile was so I just decided to forget to keep track of how many laps I walked.

I walked down to the pond where the local ducks were congregating. Many people come out with loaves of bread just to feed the, at more often than not, large group of ducks. On this particular day I had no bread, but then again, the ducks weren’t even on my radar. I was more oblivious to them than I’m sure they had hoped.

I haven’t really actually “exercised” since football and wrestling in high school, and the last time I ran was probably from the cops, so I walked until boredom took over. I was pretty proud of myself for sticking to something, though. I discovered as the day progressed that you have to start with the little things, the kind of things most people take for granted and thus lose sight of down the line.

Again, routine is key, so I came home and did some laundry and cleaned up around the house (I’m still working out a consistent routine and I’m not quite ready to jump back into trying meditation again just yet).

I tried to do some breathing exercises and get a routine for that down. They’re no cure-all, but I’ve discovered they help to a certain extent. And you can only work with what you got.

This new declarative, self-acceptance is just that: new. I don’t like the word “positivity”, though that’s what it is.

This period of self-acceptance is different than any other. It’s not forced or phony. I’m genuinely in the game to get through certain things in my life. There are some things you can’t fix, however. You just have to face the music in that case.

I suffer from bipolar disorder, and it can take away all you have and then some at times. Both the “ups” and “downs” are miserable, but you weather the storm.

My disorder makes it harder for me to function in a rational sense at times. I am not my diagnosis, though, and if there are those who think otherwise, I feel sorry for them as ignorance has the tendency to blind and lead to nowhere good.

The secret, though, is to let go of any loose ends. I’ve recently had to do just that regarding some things going on and am better for it. I can’t control what other people think or assume so all I can do is continue to work on myself. I have a lot to learn, but it’s time to take action and evaluate my motivation and intentions in life.

I’ve had to be more introspective than usual lately (which is scary in and of itself with my brain), but it’s been helpful. The only thing I have control over is myself and I’m learning that, too. Replaying the past has been extremely hard on me. Now, I’m writing the script for the future, and I’m not looking back.

I’ve accepted my illness and realize its control over me. I have also finally accepted that the stigma isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But that’s okay. I can only live by my actions. I can only focus on my own authenticity and truth. And it’s liberating just to jump on the notion of change. I will always be an advocate for mental health awareness. I’m not going anywhere.

Self-love and self-care are both important and are something I’m working on. I’m proud of myself for once. I feel this new wave of understanding and am taking advantage of it.

I am thankful and have no expectations.

I’m just moving forward.

3 thoughts on “So Far, So Good

  1. I really admire not only how you are thinking about all of this, but how you are making changes in your life that promote better health. You made an excellent point about starting small…those small changes will build upon one another into a very moving force in your life. For me, routine is key. The days that I stick to my routine tend to be the days that I feel very good about life. When I find myself slipping from my routine, I now recognize that this is an early indication to myself that something is going on within me. Great post, Josh. I hope you have a great weekend and that you get to walk the park again. It sounds like a truly lovely spot. 🙂

    1. Routine is definitely key and something I’m not used to having or following. And as for starting small…it is just flat out necessary. It feels nice (and scary at times) to know that I can finally look above the “embarrassment” or “stigma”and just handle things that I can control. I’ll always be on the front lines as an advocate for mental illness, but I have to focus on me and mine. That’s why self-care is so important. But I’m not quitting blogging. I think that it’s helped me out a lot. But thank you for reading and liking it. I hope you have a good rest of your weekend.

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