Dealing with mental illness is tough enough, but add a pandemic and nationwide protests and it can feel even more overwhelming and isolating, especially when you are stuck at home and don’t feel like you can do anything about it. The situation feels hopeless and those old, familiar feelings of despair set in. While it’s important to respect and validate those feelings, it’s also important to move forward. Easier said than done, I know. I know all about the vicious cycle of negativity and nothingness–that whole thought/feeling/behavior nightmare of “I think I’m worthless” so “I do nothing” and then “I feel even more worthless.” At some point, though, you have to just say “Enough! I am not listening to YOU anymore.” Then fill your head with OTHER, more productive thoughts (yes, even if you don’t believe them).
Now more than ever, we need people to talk to, someone to listen, someone to relate to, someone to acknowledge that we matter, that we do have power, that we can do something. It may not be what we want, but every step forward, no matter how small, moves us closer to where we want to be–to that final destination of safety, contentment, acceptance, calm, understanding.
But where can we find those other people who will offer support, guidance, or just listen without judgment? This is where NAMI comes into play. There are people who are professionally trained to listen, peers who struggle with anxiety and/or depression and have learned healthy ways to cope with their illnesses. I am proud that my local NAMI affiliate offers THREE online weekly support groups for those who are struggling during these uncertain, challenging times. To find out more about these FREE weekly sessions, visit http://www.nami-lv.org/
We will get through this TOGETHER. We will come out STRONGER.