It’s that time of year when all the magazines and posts on social media talk about “Be Who You Want To Be”, “Now Is Your Time to Shine, “This is YOUR Breakout Year, ”and the list goes on.
I would read these articles about making lofty goals, being the best me, making a million dollars, traveling the world and it would start to take me on a downward spiral. I would feel like such a failure because those types of things were nowhere in my mind. My goals looked a lot different than all of those things.
What goals did I have in mind for myself for 2016?
- Well to be totally 100% honest, just getting out of bed in the morning would be really nice.
- Being able to make it through an entire day (12 hours!) without wanting to go back to bed and hide from the world would be a HUGE sense of accomplishment as well.
- Make plans with a friend and actually show up without my anxiety stepping in and causing me to come up with an excuse.
- Look in the mirror and find the beauty instead of the flaws.
- Start to tell myself that I am not a failure or a waste of space in the world.
- Answer my phone when my Mom calls to see how I am doing so she doesn’t worry too much and show up unexpectedly at my house to see if I am still alive.
- Seek out other people who are depressed too so we can support one another on the really bad days.
- Have the strength to sit with my scary and dark thoughts when my disease is stronger than usual.
- Accept that this is my battle and not resist it so much that it makes my suffering worse.
- Choose to love myself.
Being able to accomplish these goals, even one a day would allow me to feel like a huge success. Although they may seem small, when one suffers from a mental illness our world does become small and in this space we go to and coexist in, we need small steps to get us out.
These goals can allow us to heal, to breathe, to show up and to feel happy even if it’s only for a moment.
Be gentle with yourself when you look at the big year ahead and be realistic about what goals are doable for you. Remember to be proud of anything you can do and anything that you can’t because we all have those days, months or years and we don’t need to beat ourselves up for unnecessary expectations.