Written by Taylor Jones.
When I first was diagnosed with a mental illness I thought my life is over. Everything had to change. I couldn’t drink anymore because of my medications, I couldn’t stay up late in case it altered my moods. I had to be cautious of the way I was acting, and report to a therapist weekly about all the things I was doing in my life. I thought I had a giant hat on that read “crazy.” I feared the world would know, and I would have to live in the shadows for the rest of my life.
Flash forward almost a decade later, and I’m a mom, a wife, and a well rounded lady. I just released my first book, and I have a semi-successful blog. I work daily, as a stay at home mom. I am not cured; I am still struggling with the same illness years later. So does this mean you can live a completely normal life with a mental illness?
Here’s the truth that is often overlooked with mental illness; our mental diagnosis is often a life long diagnosis. There isn’t a magical pill that takes away a mental illness, although medications can often make your illness less severe A lot of mental health care is behavioral; changing your mind by daily exercises to help you navigate through life. This means mediation, deep calming breathing techniques, and powerful affirmations (along with more skills) are part of your daily routine. There is no on/off switch with a mental illness.
Everyday a person with mental illness has choices to face; whether to give in to their illness, or to fight. We are mental warriors; we battle this war in our brain daily. Our lives will always be battling mental illness; but that doesn’t mean we can’t live pretty normal lives.
For me, my life may seem normal, but I have to make alterations to cater to myself, and my best health
For me, my life may seem normal, but I have to make alterations to cater to myself, and my best health. I can’t work outside of my home; I am one of those people with a mental illness who can’t work normal jobs (not saying all of us are, but I’m one of the few). I’ll never have a normal job. I still don’t drive, because I’m looking to have more control over my moods before I get behind the wheel.
My life is extraordinary
In my opinion, despite the areas that feel stunted, my life is extraordinary. I found my passion in writing, and am able to pursue a career as a writer and blogger. I am able to be a stay at home mom, and focus on self care more while I’m home. I think I’m an even better friend because of my mental illness these days; I’m more patient and understanding thanks to the skills I’ve learned, and I don’t judge.
Maybe we won’t be able to live “ordinary” or “normal” lives. But doesn’t that sound boring anyway?