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Keep Fighting!

Do you have a mental or physical illness? Where are you at? Beaten down to the point that getting dressed seems like an insurmountable task? Maybe you’re able to do the basics: shower, get dressed, eat but that’s all you can do. Or maybe you’re managing despite the struggle. Making it day to day but still it’s a fight. Some of us never crash to the bottom and some of us never reach our goal but wherever we are, we fight.

I have schizoaffective disorder. I was diagnosed at 15 but I had symptoms for years. I have good days – days when I can write about the fight – and a hell of a lot of bad days. When the bad days come it’s difficult to believe I will ever have a good day. I get sucked into the abyss and I just don’t believe things will ever get better. I know all about the good days that feel SO GOOD. The future seems rosy and full of possibility but then the depression comes, the illness comes back, the fatalism rears its ugly head.

I struggle to find the words to capture how much I want to give up at times and yet keep fighting. To those who are hurting, I want to say I understand and I’m proud of you for continuing to fight despite the pain, anger and frustration. If you woke up today and plan to wake up tomorrow you are fighting. Keep it up! I don’t care how others see you. If others look upon you as somehow “less than” that’s their problem. They don’t know your struggles. They can’t understand the depth of your pain. They don’t understand the strength required to move forward. Big steps, little steps, if you’re taking steps, good for you!!!

It’s so hard not to get stuck in the mud, unable to find the energy to move. The only encouragement I have to give is stop looking at yourself as “less than”. Stop beating yourself up because someone else thinks you’re not doing enough. Are you doing your best? Are you trying to overcome? Then you are doing ENOUGH! When battling illness only you know the struggle you’re fighting. Don’t let your illness define your struggle. Don’t focus on where you are right now: depressed, worn out, broken. Instead, focus on where you are headed instead of where you are right now or where you were. I struggle. Every day is hard. Some days all I do is sleep but other days I can do some things: a load of wash, starting the dishwasher, wiping the counters. The carpets need vacuuming and the floors mopped but I refuse to give in to the list of things I supposedly have to do. I am fighting. I am fierce. I will not be defined by some random to do list that I may or may not finish. Are you the same way? See yourself as a fighter. I believe in you and I’m begging you to believe in yourself. Set a goal – one you can reach – and go for it. If you achieve it, GREAT! Now set another goal until you are where you want to be. If you don’t make your goal, don’t give up, try again, and again and again. As long as you don’t give up you are making progress. Remember this progress must not be defined by others. They don’t know your goal and they don’t know the fight required to reach that goal. Keep trying. Don’t give up. Keep fighting!

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