“Personal Day” by Caitlin Riggs

I’m taking a personal day today to reflect on how far I’ve come with my mental health and well-being. Two years ago, I never would have thought I could be truly happy or successful like I am today.
I have struggled with major depression for almost the entirety of my adult life. Every day I waged an internal battle with getting out of bed in the morning, putting on a decent change of clothes, and going about a normal day. Even doing things that were necessary for my well-being, like eating and getting essentials for myself–basically general errand running–was unbearable.
I used to think I needed validation from others to know that I was moving in the right direction. And in a way, I did. I was never happy being alone, never comfortable in my own solitude. Those inescapable feelings of “you’re not good enough” would always creep into my mind, taking up residence and never leaving.
It wasn’t until 2015, after a very long and unhealthy relationship ended that I was forced to address my feelings. I was finally able to see with a clear heart and mind that I was in trouble. What I was feeling wasn’t what life was supposed to be like. Something in me had died, and I needed to get it back.
Two years later, I am now fully active in my own mental health. I am more careful with who I spend my time with, and what I dedicate my time to. If I don’t want to go out, I don’t go out — but now, I can recognize when my mind is playing tricks on me, and when I really need to ignore those feelings of isolation, put my face on and boogie. I practice self-care, which is something I never felt entitled to before. Basically, I’m more in tune with what my heart and my mind want at any given moment. It’s something I never thought I would be able to do.
If there is anything else I have learned in going through this neverending journey, it is that I want to be there for others who are hurting in ways I understand firsthand. If you need a friend, or a listening ear, rest assured I’m here for you. No one should have to go through this alone. There’s no magic cure, but with a lot of hard work and perseverance, it does get better.

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