Not every battle needs to be fought right now.
This is something else I had to learn the hard way.
As someone who struggles with mental illness and an overall poor mental health, I feel like I’m constantly told to face my demons head on. To look them in the eye and say, “Fuck you, you can’t tell me what to do.”
But that’s easier said than done.
Mental illnesses do tell you what to do. That’s what makes it so hard to fight them. It’s all in your head and you can’t punch them out and call it a day.
I’ve found that sometimes the fight against depression/anxiety/etc. is exhausting and that I need a break. That doesn’t mean giving in. It means stopping myself from forcing a result when I just can’t make happen.
It means I stop my half-assed cleaning and sit down. It means I stop trying to write when I can’t feel anything. It means being gentle with myself and understanding that I’m still only human.
There are times when you have to tap out of a fight. And learning how to recognize those times will help you get out before you’re at your limit rather than when you’re already there. And there’s no shame in admitting you need a break. It’s not a weakness or selfish, it’s being self-aware and knowing your limits so you can work on yourself.
This is something I’m still working on because while I know when I need a break, I still feel guilty for doing things for myself.
Example: A co-worker asked me to cover their shift.
Normally, I would absolutely do this for them. I could definitely used the money and I like being able to help people. But I also don’t feel great and I’m in some pain.
On one hand, the rational part of my brain says I should listen to my body and not strain myself right now. But on the other hand, there’s that part of me that’s always managed to white-knuckle my way through just about everything. And honestly, I’m sure I could get through that shift. But I’d also end on the other side hating myself and feeling even more miserable.
So am I going to take that shift? No. Not this time.
It’s my day off and work will still be there when I get back in the ring.
I can’t say, “Don’t feel guilty,” for taking care of yourself because I still do. But I think you should know that you don’t deserve to feel guilty.
Life happens and sometimes it’s all you can do to roll with the punches.
Until next time x
This a continuation of this post but from a different angle so you didn’t really need to read the last one to understand this.