Last Sunday reconnected with a friend. Over a bowl of salad in a cafe, she started to share her experiences in overcoming a mental health problem past few weeks. I found that her story was pretty much like what I’ve experienced earlier this year: loneliness, thoughts of being such a failure, and nihilism. I wouldn’t discuss these 3 mental health problems
Different cases, but similar learning points. We both eventually overcome that, probably, lowest point in our life so far. We both agree that it’s okay to ask for help when we experienced these mental health problems. By asking for help, of course to the people we trust. But how did we do that? Below are how we both overcame our mental health problem:
A. Know Who You Are: Recognize, Admit, and Accept
- Admit that you think you’re mentally unhealthy. It could be stress, confuse, overthinking, questioning, feeling of pressure, or else that makes you not so happy with your being.
- Try to understand the root cause – talk to people you trust. Let them help you to understand the situation from different perspectives.
- Accept the condition that you must experience this; see this as an opportunity to know yourself better.
B. Give Yourself Time – Redirect and Re-concept
- Keep in mind that you need time to recover. To accelerate, try to redirect your goals/expectation/aspiration to something that excites you or spark your energy. This could be doing an issue you care about, an activity that brings joy to you, or a project you dream of. Don’t let your mind be rushed by your own expectations, understand that things need such process and time.
- Mental health problem could bring us to an unclear self-image; which in the same time gives us a room and space to re-concept ourselves. If we use this moment patiently, we could reconstruct our profile – after knowing ourselves better from that challenging situation.
C. Surround Yourself with Goodness – Reconnect and Grow
- At the end of the day, we don’t need thousand people to be with us; having such a small trustworthy important circle of people around us would be enough. To overcome mental health problem, try to reconnect with this circle and maintain a positive relationship with them by regularly meet them. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t be able to make friends if we haven’t accepted our own condition. Make sure that you forgive yourself and make peace with it, so that you can easily connect with your circle.
- Ensure you fill in your life with something that excites you; regularly refresh your reasons to live longer – and It’s okay if those reasons are smalls, but continuous. Life is not a race – you also don’t need to rush; but re-learn how to enjoy every bit of it.
Points above sounds easy; but it’s indeed not easy. A mentor of mine send me a text when I shared about my condition, said: ‘This could be happened to anybody. Keep having faith (that you’ll be getting better)’. You would probably still feel ups and downs, or such struggle to overcome with mental problems. But don’t give up. Know who you are, give yourself time, and surround yourself with goodness.