We don't tell ourselves good things about ourselves enough. We as mental illness sufferers can be very negative about ourselves and our accomplishments. Sometimes we fail to see even the smallest of victories as anything but failure. We get lost in the comparisons we make of ourselves with other not mentally ill people. Sometimes we forget to pat ourselves on our own backs for the things we have worked hard to improve on in our lives. We need to be proud of ourselves. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to know how important and worthy we are. If we don't then who will? So for the next few weeks I am going to write letters to myself detailing the things I have done that I am proud of. No negative criticisms, no put downs, no self deprecating backhanded comments. Just positive feedback and maybe some humorous anecdotes. Because sometimes I need to remember that I do not have to be my own worst enemy.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how proud I am of you that you didn't have a panic attack when going to your doctor's office yesterday. Sure, you tapped the arm rest of the car with your hands until they were sore, but you did not forget to breathe and focus. I mean, I would not be ashamed had you had a panic attack but I am equally proud that you didn't.
I also commend you on your extreme composure when the hand sanitizer in your purse ran out in the doctor's office and you used the one on the waiting room counter. Even though it was gritty and you promptly wiped it on your husband's shirt in front of your children with a haste only seen in Nascar races. You were completely unapologetic about doing so but I have to concede that it was the appropriate action since hand sanitizer has no business being gritty and your husband's shirt could never be a dirty as whatever lived and apparently died in that sanitizer bottle before you used it.
I would also like to congratulate you on last night. When you were staring intently at the garden orb weaver spider weaving her web on your porch and the cat touched your foot, you only screamed once. It might have been a tad bit hysterical and possibly over dramatic, but I give you props. It could have been a worse reaction. You didn't faint....
I am proud of how you have handled school starting back up and all of the scheduling you have had to do. I know it is not your strong suit and that it gives you a ton of anxiety. You are doing the best you can and you are getting it done. Sure, the laundry is piling up around you but we can both pretend it is because of the stress of online public school. I mean, I know better because you hate laundry and your husband isn't really buying that little white lie either after fourteen years of half-assed laundry washing, but no one else needs to know. Your secret is safe with me.
I am proud of how well you have dealt with your Grandma being ill, getting better, and moving to live with her son six states away. I know this will be hard. I know that it makes you sad. I understand that change is hard for you.
Please know that it is okay to cry. I know you hate to cry because it makes you feel weak. But everyone cries, Nelly. It's just tears. It can not make you something you are not. If it bothers you so much to admit that you do sometimes need to cry we can simply call it "eye ball sweat" from now on. I am okay with pretending your eyes are just overheated when you are sad.
I know things have been stressful and hard and off-putting but you are doing great. No, it isn't everyone else's great but it is your great and you should be proud. You are doing the best that you can. So head up, feet forward and keep going on. Remember who you are. I believe in you, even if your eyeballs need to sweat occasionally.
So, be brave Nelly, and by brave I mean keep pushing through. You can do this.