Not so long ago I stopped work for a week’s holiday. Well, at least my body did. As for my mind, it decided to keep working for a little longer. And not all that well either.
While the rest of me was doing its best to lie beside pools and hang out with family and friends, it managed to:
– create a catastrophe out of an innocent email
– sandpaper my nervous system
– have me studying the ceiling at 3am
– and even surprise me with a few tears.
Now please, no awwwwws. This is not a poor-me piece. After decades of mental illness, I knew what to do. For starters, I told my wife. Not to burden her but to share it with someone.
I cancelled social outings (without feeling guilty) and just hung out with my family. I looked at the email again, objectively. I forced myself to get exercise. And I called my doctor.
Slowly, I started feeling better.
Now I understand that not everyone has decades of lived experience to fall back on. But most of us have the ability to take action. To try kicking mental illness before it kicks you.
Most of us have the opportunity to share things with someone. To speak to a doctor. Get some exercise. Politely say no. In short, do anything rather than shutting your mouth and letting mental illness kick the crap out of you.