I recently read the quote, “Not everyone suffers from Mental Illness, but we all have Mental Health.”
This sat with me for a bit. I often talk about my mental health; in fact, this is the entire purpose of “Mental Health and Me.”
Then I started thinking, maybe I should have called it “Mental Illness and Me” – because I’m talking all about my mental illness, or rather my mental health issues.
Perhaps I should have called it “Problems with Mental Health.”
The more I thought of this, the more I realized what my actual issue was.
Anxiety and depression are not symptoms of a mentally healthy person. They are defects.
It’s pretty frustrating living with defects.
Living With a Defect
Imagine driving around with a flat tire. It doesn’t matter how much air you blow into it, or how many times you try to replace it, that tire is always deflated.
You have to learn to live with it, and the only way to do that is to drive slowly.
You have to prepare to leave earlier than everyone else, in order to arrive at your destination at the same time.
It takes so much longer to drive the path, than it does for someone with four ‘proper’ tires.
This is what it’s like living every single day with anxiety and depression. It takes so much more preparation to do daily tasks.
Mental Illness is a Journey
Granted, there are days when I can jump in my car and go. All tires are full, and I’m feeling great.
But there is absolutely no way to predict whether I will lose air halfway through my journey.
It’s an illness. There are so many more types of mental illness, anxiety and depression are just the two that I focus on.
There are eating disorders, personality disorders, bipolar, obsessive compulsive, post traumatic stress, and schizophrenia to name a few.
All are ‘defects’ of a mentally healthy person. We struggle with our circumstances all day long.
It’s not that we don’t want a new car, believe me, what I’d give to have a brand-spanking, sparkly new vehicle with all working parts.
But it’s not in our cards. We’re playing the hand we were dealt, and we’re learning to manage: win, lose, or draw.
This site is called Mental Health and Me.
It is not called “Mental Defects” or “Mental Illness” – why?
Because I’m learning to make myself a mentally healthy person despite my illness.
Everyone has mental health, and we all need to take care of it.