Welcome to Mental Health Monday!  This was born out of Liz and my session on Depression, Anxiety and Healthy Living from Fitbloggin’ 15.  Every 1st and 3rd Monday one of us will host a link up for others to share their experiences with Mental illness – either from their own experience or from the experience of helping and walking with others.  Our goal is to reach out to the world and let people know that they are not alone in their struggles.  You are never alone.  Join us – link up, visit new blogs, support others.  Speak out:  “I am crazy…CRAZY AWESOME!”  (You are welcome to use the badge below!)

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My therapist pointed out last time we met that I’ve made a lot of progress in the six months I’ve been seeing her (read about my therapy experience here).  I wasn’t quite sure I agreed but she made some good points.  It’s somehow easy for me to forget how bad things used to be or how far I’ve come, not just in six months but in the past few years.

She asked what this journey has taught me.  That isn’t an easy question.  After a lot of thought I came up with this.

Learning to be alone, and be okay.

Before this I had only lived alone right out of college and I hated it.  It didn’t last very long before I moved and got roommates again.  I’m a social person but even extroverts need to be okay being by themselves.  I wasn’t.  The forced solitude of living alone, losing friends, and depression were a crash course in how to be alone.  It’s taken a long time but I can enjoy my own company now.  I still prefer the company of others most of the time.  But I’m okay on my own.

Finding My Self Worth

This one is hard for me to process because I have always been pretty confident.  However, romantic relationships have been a struggle for me.  In the past I have stayed too long and accepted less than great treatment.  Self-worth is about knowing what I deserve.  Knowing that I’m strong enough to walk away from an unhealthy situation.

These two tie together nicely because if you aren’t okay being alone you’ll settle for anyone’s company.  Several friendships didn’t survive the rough patch that the last few years have been for me.  Now I try to focus on quality over quantity.  I want friendships, and relationships, that will last.

Obviously this isn’t the end of my journey.  I still struggle.  I still have plenty to learn.  But it is a good idea to take stock sometimes.  To look for something good coming from the struggle.

What are you learning on your journey?

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