Your thoughts are powerful and you can convince yourself of many things. You can convince yourself you are capable and smart, or you can convince yourself you are worthless and useless. It all depends on your state of mind, and what you want to believe.

Over the past few days, I felt brighter, and less foggy and actually wanted to do things. I noticed I had been productive at work (maybe having a long weekend last week helped) and I had been feeling like cooking. I am sure the nice weather helped too.

I managed to clean out closets/cupboards and make a stew in a crockpot (first time using one). I just did. I went for a walk on Friday. I never want to do these things. Maybe something inside of me is telling me it’s time to change or it’s time to make the time to do these things. I don’t always have time to cook, but I know (as much as I hate it) that some form of exercise is important for body and mind. It’s important to start small, but it is also important to have the actual desire or want. Without it, these activities seem like awful chores or daunting tasks.

I personally become irritated when someone tells me to be positive, because sometimes it is not always that easy, so I would never tell someone to do that. Instead, I like to think of having or being in a different, or “better” mindset as “a shift in perspective”.

Every day is different and some days are better than others. If I have been able to have a few brighter days for one reason or another, I’ll take it. Medications help, but they only go so far. We know how destructive thoughts are/can be and I don’t think medication can suppress my thoughts or make me stop thinking. Part of the recovery and healing process is learning how to reframe your thoughts, which if you think about it, is shifting your perspective, the way you see/think about things/situations.

Right now I am just grateful to have had a chance to genuinely laugh and smile this weekend and enjoy good company and not feel bogged down by the weight of the world (a.k.a. my thoughts).

About Melanie Luxenberg

My name is Melanie Luxenberg and I am finally ready to live openly with mental illness. I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2003, which I still experience. At the same time, I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety (which I also still experience), and then briefly experienced Agoraphobia. I have had depression on and off since I was 13 years old. In July 2010 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. Shortly after it was realized that I experienced rapid cycling. I can experience multiple cycles in a week. Despite my diagnosis, I completed a university degree and then a college program. I have always held stable employment, regularly taken my medication and regularly attended my doctor’s appointments. There have been times of hopelessness, but I have always found support from my family, husband and 3 dogs. I am a law clerk, social media/content writer and of course, mental health advocate. My Twitter feed is full of mental health advocacy messages. I hope one day to see the end of stigma towards mental illness, because stigma has to stop!

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