My Progress is Not Linear

My mental health progress is not linear. It took me some time to recognize this fact and I still struggle to fully grasp it today. But as I navigate my way through my mental health, taking steps to better it and grow, I’ve noticed a sense of relief when I have days that don’t strike me as harshly as others. On a day that I feel stable and happy, I tend to think that I’ve got everything under control, which leads to a sense of frustration and confusion on days that I don’t feel as good. What I need to understand and remind myself of is that progress doesn’t happen overnight or as a linear function. 

I have good days. Actually, I would argue that most of my days are good ones and I’m grateful for that. These days, I feel in control of my emotions and don’t worry as much about whether or not everything will be okay. I laugh, dance to my favorite music, get work done and feel like myself.

I have worse days. I have days that make me cry. I have days that drain me, exhaust me and make me feel helpless. These days, I feel irrational, overpowered and embarrassed. Imposter syndrome takes its toll on me and tells me that what I’m feeling isn’t valid. I don’t feel like me at all.

But sometimes, the bad days turn to good ones, or vice versa. I’ll feel anxious and isolated before I reach out to someone for help and guidance. And then I’ll feel myself slowly escape that funk and return to my giggly, smiley self. Or I’ll go throughout my entire day feeling fine until my head hits the pillow at night and I’m stricken by intrusive thoughts and the inability to fall asleep.

Since the day that I decided to get professional mental health help, I’ve had good and bad days, in no particular order. Instead of a straight increasing line, my progress feels more like a scribble on a page. And that’s normal, I’m figuring it out.

What I never fail to remember is that everything will be okay. I will be okay. If you’re in the process of healing and growing, that’s one thing that I want you to remind yourself as well.