Taking a Step Back From Self Help

Recently, a friend said to me “I admire people who work on their mental health.” This took me aback and my immediate reaction led me to realize I am in a place in life now where there is now a caveat to this admiration. 

When I was depressed, I worked on my mental health from a place of survival mode. Different people cope in different ways; some repress it while some, like me, devour every self-help book, podcast, yoga-related thing, and only talk to people who understand this panic mode. I don’t blame myself or anyone with this coping mechanism. There is a lot of growth to this mindset and way of coping. There definitely is something to be admired—the fight for a better life. 

I am now learning that there is always good in working on one’s self, but there is also good in loosening the reins. 

I recall hating myself for not healing the amount I should’ve. I remember getting frustrated when it felt as if all my efforts were futile. I was not feeling better yet all I could see on Instagram were happy, healed, glowing faces of people who supposedly did the same things I did.  

Looking back, the most pivotal moment in my healing journey occurred by luck. I reached out for help and coincidently, without any research, I got connected with the missing piece of my healing puzzle. The catalyst to my healing came without much of my own effort. 

Teaching me that sometimes when you let go, you create space for things to come together. 

The common saying plastered on artsy Instagram posts, “It’s okay to not be okay” has never rang more true to my ears. I know when you’re battling this terrible monster head-on in an attempt to ward off the lowest of the lowest feelings—it is the hardest thing to lay down your sword and feel as if you are simply inviting the monsters in your head to consume you. It is difficult to actively step away in fear of not being okay. 

So, I do agree it is admirable to work on yourself. Those who actively work on themselves are courageous fighters that will learn and grow tremendously. But if you’re like me, working to the point of exhaustion, it’s okay to actively take a step back and let things be for a bit. When I feel my grip on life tightening again, I play Mac Miller’s Good News and repeat the following lyrics to myself:

“Maybe I’ll lay down for a little, 

‘Stead of always trying to figure everything out” 

– Good News, Mac Miller

If you’d like to vent about all that you’re going through before laying down for a little and taking a break, book a session at Vent Over Tea.

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