What a life without Mental Illness would look like

“Feeling free without a mental illness”

Being reflective on my posts is a way in which I can voice my honest thoughts and share them with my readers. The above picture I did myself, it took me hours to do but when I see it now, I see the meaning it holds for me; freedom

What does freedom mean to me? It looks like living a life without any boundaries, obstacles and being the person I am today. It’s a powerful statement to make because, with it, the implications of what my life looks right now would be very different. For anyone, the life they are living is either ideal or one they would change.

This leads me to a subject which is personal, that of having a mental illness. Discussing what mental illness is has been discussed on this site. The real question I reflect on is that having a mental illness is a struggle on a daily basis. There are days which are good but some very bad. If it is a day with anxiety or a deep low, the thought of escaping this illness is beyond a doubt what I want;

“To be free from the struggles of the pain that the mind and body feels”

Who doesn’t want to be free from pain? Who wouldn’t want the freedom to do whatever they want without any limitations? I thought that was me, and to a degree, it makes sense that the answer would be a definite yes, but as I have grown older I have learnt so many different lessons

“you can’t change what you never knew, every morning a new opportunity to overcome pain is given”

Each morning I wake not knowing if my day is a dark place due to mental illness. I wake to the thought that chronic pain will be my battle for the day. The reality is I don’t know what each day brings, but my response to how I approach these days, are lessons I have learnt. It is unrealistic to say that positive thinking will get me through a bad day. It is what it is, but the truth is that having the opportunity to wake each morning is a gift. Sometimes it’s a gift you don’t want to open.

I do know that a life without a mental illness is one that I simply cannot imagine. I have lived with some form of mental illness since I was 10 years old. How can I imagine a life that I know nothing of? All I know is that battling some form of mental illness is a struggle that drains me some days to the point of sleeping my days away. Mental illness is hard, it rips your insides apart and is so damn painful that the tears that roll down your cheeks are endless. Imagine waking up in a dark tunnel without any light? Imagine crawling in that tunnel searching for something to hold onto so you know the day will get better. I can’t. Imagine waking up with piercing pain in your back and legs and not able to feel parts of your body. It’s my reality.

The question that my post is asking is what a life without mental illness would look like? I can only imagine it would be easier. It would be nice to wake up and know that I wouldn’t have to face any mental or physical illness.

“Would I change my life?”

“NO”

This picture represents my good days. It represents my bad days because even though I don’t smile on the outside during the dark periods I am learning something new. I have learnt that I am a stronger person than I think. I have survived the worst days and can tell my story.

I know that without mental illness I would not have the empathy for those that share the same journey. The resilience I have has made me a woman that is strong, independent and one that makes me who I am. I can’t live a life without mental illness as I know of no other. Every day is a challenge, but it is a challenge that I am willing to fight.

Mental Illness does not define who I am, it simply is an illness that I can’t imagine not having because It’s all I know. This is not a negative but a positive way that I choose to look at it. I am a courageous woman that is proud of my life, regardless of what I have.

Written by Lina Raudino.

Quote sourced from power of positivity.

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