Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
In departing from the usual format of the AtoZ Blogger’s challenge and therefore, presenting two “V” words, I am writing for those who fight a daily battle. They struggle with their own nature or issues of depression, anxiety, other various mental illnesses, addiction, self-doubt, obsession, etc. Sometimes the person is both the victor and the victim. They are a victim to their illness but emerge a victor every 24 hours that they’re alive to see a new day, wake up sober, or go to bed in their own home because they did not get lost or side-tracked. Between the victor and the victim, though, one does not always destroy the other, but rather, sometimes they just shake hands at night and say, “We’re done fighting for now.”
Yet, for many, that battle picks right up the next morning. For others, the battle rages on through the night, despite meds and various med changes. Many of us suffer these things in one way or another at different degrees. I get riddled with anxiety at times over things I can’t control or I feel I could have changed, had I done things differently. Sometimes I worry about the future. (If x happens, then I will….) I don’t know what I’ll do in the future, but I hope I’ll do it with love for the person who needs it. I am fortunate to say that this is not a daily battle, but an occasional occurrence, perhaps when things just pile up for me.
Many of us have loved ones like this who fight that battle daily. It’s enough to make you want to cry to see them struggle so. There is a period of mourning. However, I think there must be a co-existence with their struggle. There needs to be a time of rejoicing for the victories they have made, like that of simply living and of not giving up. Yes, it may seem odd to simply rejoice for the fact of a person going on living, except that many of us have almost lost them, a few times too many. I’ve been helped by participating in online forums with others who fight this battle either with the illness or with accepting the illness in a loved one. I can’t describe what goes on in my loved one’s mind; it’s not my story to tell. Only learning to love the reality of who this person has become is.
We all mourned when Carrie Fisher passed away, but she was a victor who went on living for sixty years of life and wrote honestly about her struggle with mental illness and drug abuse. There are many who have fallen victim to their struggle of the mind, but also, many who have been victorious. I feel she was truly victorious, and several of her books opened my eyes regarding the struggle with mental illness.
I salute all of the victors who may have their coping mechanisms that seem strange to the rest of us. We, their loved ones, cannot be victorious over their struggle, only they can. That is a tough realization. Especially if you are the parent. We want to show our kids it will be alright, yet, we can’t guarantee that. We want to tell them to keep taking their meds and the _______(voices, insomnia, sadness, racing thoughts, etc.) will stop. Sometimes they only subside. Sometimes they come back. We may feel a victim at times, but we can only be victorious over our own mindset. We have to co-exist with their struggle and find our place in it, our purpose to them, and our standing as a co-defendant of the person instead of feeling like another victim of their illness.
I write this in honor of someone I love who fights a daily battle within the mind. I am constantly working on my mindset and how to best accept the situation while always giving my unconditional love. I won’t pretend that I know it all; I’m turning to many places for information and support to learn how to respond to daily pitfalls and things I do not understand. Sometimes, I know I fall short.
**The AtoZ Challenge theme for my blog is “Who I am.” Yes, it’s wide open. In April, I will blog from A to Z to include little tidbits about me, poems I’ll share, and stories. Each day I will write something based on the next letter in the alphabet. It’s been fun so far, yet it has really given me a chance to pause for reflection as well. This topic is closely personal for me. It has not been a subject of my fiction, yet it colors my characters and situations, no doubt. It creeps into my blog posts, as well. It has become a part of my experience.
Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge? Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com
P.S. I am currently reading a highly acclaimed book on this subject, titled I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help, written by Dr. Xavier Amador. I’ve expereienced having to help someone accept their diagnosis. According to Dr. Amador, lack of insight about one’s illness is suffered by several who have a mental illness. I am still in the first few chapters, but perhaps I’ll give a more thorough review later. Check this link for more info.: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0967718929/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_4