There is one aspect of struggling with your mental health that is by far the most frustrating thing. Both for those that have experienced it and for those who have never had to struggle. That part is the avoidance of committing to the things that we know full well will help us make strides towards recovery or better mental health.
I’ll begin by saying that if you are someone who has never struggled significantly with your mental health and you do not understand why obvious, simple fixes are undertaken by those suffering, I do not judge you for that. I don’t judge you for that because, as someone who knows the many ways that I could alleviate my mental health struggles and does nothing, I understand how frustrating it must be to witness. Believe me when I say that it is even more frustrating for the sufferer.
I can start every day with the best intentions, I will exercise, I will make plans to eat healthy, home-cooked food, I will get things done, and I will read more than I scroll on social media. I know that this plan is a formula that will benefit my mental state in multiple ways, it sounds easy enough to follow too.
However, more often than not, I find myself each night feeling terrible about myself, about my body image, about who I am as a person! I’ll have stuffed my face with all of the junk that you could possibly imagine (why do I even have it in the house??), I’ll have spent my time scrolling my phone and procrastinating instead of doing the things that will make me feel like I’ve accomplished something, I’ll have done nothing beyond exercising in the morning to make myself feel good in the long run.
Ending each day feeling like a failure, feeling disgusted with myself both physically and mentally, seems like it should be disheartening and would discourage me from waking up with the mindset to do better every day, but it doesn’t. This just makes it even more frustrating. Every day I try to achieve the same things and every day I find myself annoyed by my own ineptitude to do even the most basic of things.
If you are unlucky enough to experience life with the same sense of failure as I have every day, then just know that you are not alone. I think this is a quite common trait for those who suffer from mental ill-health. We know, as rational, intelligent human beings what we need to do to help ourselves in the long run, we also know that those things are not huge, disruptive changes.
We also know, deep down, that our self-sabotage stems from our brain’s need/desire to gain hits of serotonin and dopamine throughout the day to make it through. So, even though we want to be productive, video games or Netflix binge are more appealing.
Even though we want to eat the foods that can help our overall health, the chocolate bar, or the crisps we don’t need are too tempting not to eat. The vicious cycle perpetuates our struggles and prevents us from completing simple tasks to make bigger steps.
It is not our fault that we can’t do the simple fixes. It is just as frustrating for those on the inside as those on the outside. Just be kinder to one another. Be more patient, with yourself and with others.