"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." - VoltaireMy 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.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.
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.
"The only journey is the journey within." - Rainer Maria RilkeNext month I am embarking on a mission to Accept Responsibility as part of my ongoing self-improvement programme; The Romeo Project.