You Are Your Biggest Advocate

In prior articles, I wrote about mental health and my experiences with treatment. I wrote about how I felt, how it affects me now and what steps I took towards my treatment. Before my last psych ward visit, I felt that the treatments weren’t working for me; what I didn’t realize soon enough was that they actually were. What wasn’t working was my mentality towards it all. I didn’t want myself to get better. I was afraid that I couldn’t be myself without my mental illness. I was working against myself, which led me to realize this: you have to be your own biggest advocate.

How can someone get better if they don’t want to? By not supporting themselves, they block off any support that outside sources may provide. This is what I did. I wasted so much time, money, and effort because I was purposely trying to make it all for nothing.

The second time I went to the psych ward, I was basically at rock bottom. So much was happening to me and I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do, but at least that was a wake up call for me. I knew that there were people out there worried for me and honestly, having others suffer because of me feels horrible. This pushed me into a reality check.

I was at a crossroads — I could either suffer and waste my life, or I could actually fight and want to get better.

I decided to do the latter and become my biggest advocate for my mental health.

Think about it.

I’ll put this into an example that probably everyone could relate to: when you need to go to the bathroom, you have to push yourself to go and use whatever form of bathroom is available to you. Other people can suggest that you go to the bathroom, but ultimately it is you who decides to go to the bathroom.

Because of the way that mental health is viewed in our world, many people with mental illnesses feel like they aren’t really themselves without their mental trauma. They feel that their experiences will be invalidated if they “cure” themselves. That’s why people become their own worst enemy and begin on a self-destructive path to perpetual pain, which is what I experienced.

I don’t want to hurt myself anymore, and I especially don’t want to be a hypocrite. I’m saying hypocrite because if you know me, I am a fervent advocate for social justice and self-care. How can I try to help others if I can’t even bother to help myself? A lot of the time, at least from what I have seen, people try to help others in order to stop themselves from healing. I really wish this wasn’t true, but unfortunately it is.

I am pleading to anyone reading this that if they are purposely preventing themselves from healing in any way, shape or form, please stop when you can start fighting for yourself. Obviously if you’re not in the position or have the resources to do so, don’t strain yourself. I know it may feel like your mental illness is a part of your identity, but it’s really not true.

You are not defined by the external forces acting upon you.

You are only defined by the way that you see yourself. No outside entity can do that for you.

If you trying to fight for the sake of others, but you aren’t as successful as you expected to be, you would have to defeat yourself first and look out for yourself first and foremost. Don’t let others depend on you when you can’t wholly be there for yourself.

At times, it may feel like there is no support out there for you, but the truth is that there is. It’s you. You are the one source of support that you can fully control, and you can always count on that because you are your biggest supporter.