When I was four, I nearly drowned. Little in years, my ambitions were set high and it’s safe to say that I ruined my family’s weekend away with my arrogance. Unfortunately for me (and my onlooking mother), those ambitions consisted of swimming into the big pool and going down the big boys and girls’ slide without arm bands… or the ability to swim.
Full of confidence, I jumped into the water and regretted it almost immediately. I can honestly say that I do not remember anything about that weekend, other than sinking to the bottom of the pool and thinking, “I can’t get back up.” Although it must have only been a few seconds, that “I can’t get back up” thought, turned into, “this is it for me.”
As my father pulled me out of the water, I prepared to be scolded by mother. But what I couldn’t understand was; how did I not make it to the big pool? Why couldn’t I go on the water slide?
Even as adults we think to ourselves, “why can’t I do this?” and with regards to our mental health, this is putting more pressure on ourselves than we need to. Whether you suffer from depression or anxiety, one of the things that will help you on your way to recovery is accepting that there are some things that you can’t do.
There will be days when getting out of bed in the morning is a challenge. Cooking dinner for yourself seems like a chore, and going out of the house? Well, you might as well be running a marathon.
It’s okay to have a bad day but just try to make sure that a bad day doesn’t turn into a bad week or a bad month. Having good mental health is a skill that you have to practise daily – a bit like swimming. Healing takes time; have patience and try again.