Thursday, 30 June 2016

Appreciate the Journey Conclusion

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." - Voltaire
My June journey has come to a close. It's been a month of highs and lows and I spent the majority of my resolution to 'Appreciate the Journey’ struggling internally.

If you ever wanted a test case of how unpredictable mental illness can be, take my month as an example. I had hoped to complete my bucket list of fun and exciting new things to do. Instead I spent any evenings or days off on my bed, frantically colouring-in to avoid my own tangled mind.
I didn’t give myself time to process my thoughts. I didn’t want to. Most of my time was tied up with work, or travelling with work. I had to move house. I had to say goodbye to housemates I’d lived with for three years. I had to cope without my biggest support for almost 3 weeks.
I kept putting myself down, doubting my accomplishments and my experience for a new job. I kept imagining ‘what if’ scenarios.  I spent most of my days waiting for a message from the boyfriend in France to ensure he was still alive; as my mind kept inventing detailed scenarios in which he wasn’t.
I wanted to stop blogging. Not just for the month, but forever. I didn’t see the point. I felt the shame of my own failures. I felt embarrassed that people could link my blog back to me, the offline real-life person.

Reason after reason for feeling ungrateful circulated my mind. It was hard to find any positives, or anything to appreciate.

However, as the month comes to a close I do not want to end on a negative note. When I write about mental illness I like to show that there is hope and light out there, even when I cannot find or feel it myself. As I wrote on Tuesday, there are always moments - beautiful moments of hope that we can appreciate, even when we feel ungrateful.

So to finish off this month’s resolution I have found taken the time to write a list of things that are worth appreciating. Despite what your mind might tell you, there's always something wonderful if you look hard enough for it.

1) I got through the month.
2) I (mainly) kept it together. Publicly anyway.
3) I was made to feel appreciated by friends and strangers.
4) I received good job news.
5) I got home to visit my whole family.6) I stuck to my challenge to take a photo every single day for the month. 7) Two of my dogs fell asleep on my lap at the same time and it was AMAZING.8) I have a new tradition of donuts every Thursday to enjoy.
It's not always easy to be appreciative of what you have. It's also not always easy to find ways of showing your appreciation. But one thing I have learned for sure this month is that it doesn't matter how many place we've gone to or what we're able to tick off of a list. What matters is that we can appreciate the moments that help us move forward on our own internal journey.
"The only journey is the journey within." - Rainer Maria Rilke
Next month I am embarking on a mission to Accept Responsibility as part of my ongoing self-improvement programme; The Romeo Project.

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