On Mental Illness and Getting Help

I’ve been struggling of late. Between working difficult hours at a difficult job with a very long commute and trying to fit in enough “real life” with my significant other, it seems like I can’t make any headway in the parts of life that truly matter. Areas like spending time with family and loved ones, pursuing a fulfilling life, simply enjoying my own time, they all seem out of my reach most of the time.

I’ve tried finding a better work environment without much success, tried getting better hours that actually allow me to see my family without much success, and pretty much run into roadblocks at every turn here in Nashville. It’s disheartening because when supposedly so much success is happening in this city, I have been unable to get much of anywhere. The worst part is that it has made me bitter and spiteful at times. I see people out there making things happen, starting businesses, working careers they enjoy, writing books or being photographers and I’m beyond green with envy, I’m chartreuse with envy.

I’ve played with the idea of starting a side business without much success. I’ve enjoyed my writing when I can find the time or motivation to do it, especially here on Just Live Simple, but at times it’s very tough. It’s hard to talk about living simple lives when your own is so hopelessly overwrought with the complications of too much work, too much worry, and not enough living.

I’ve struggled with mental illness for most of my life, crippling anxiety and depression specifically. It makes it very hard to “power through” these periods. It makes it very hard to not think the world is conspiring against you, that everyone is succeeding while you are failing. I’ve finally decided that enough was enough and am seeking some outside help. I know it will be a slow road, but it’s necessary. I’ve always told myself that if I was able to get the life I have always wanted that these feelings would go away, but I have come to realize that the reverse is true.

I think my best advice would be to take care of yourself, get the help you need, no one else can do it for you. If you need help, reach out, if we had all of the answers inside ourselves we wouldn’t need each other and we so desperately need each other and a little help from time to time.

2 Responses to “On Mental Illness and Getting Help

  • Hi James. Thank you for sharing your feelings. It takes "guts" to share about yourself especially when you are going through a hard time. Reaching out is a good thing and I'm hoping you will find relieve, guidance and less stress in doing so.
    I very much like your writing, your blog and your book. DON'T give up please. You are still so very young compared to me (I'm 57). I like you have had struggles and life is an ebb and flow of good and bad. Keep keeping on, don't give up, always remember your dreams, don't blame others for feeling blue, be grateful and keep on trying with all of your might to live simply.
    I will be thinking of you.
    Peace and blessings.

  • Hi James, Sorry I'm so slow responding to this post. Life has been going through one of those complicated phases at present, and I just haven't been online as much. I appreciate your honesty in sharing your struggles. Whatever you do, don't give up. It is refreshing to read about the struggle to live simply while coping with the realities of life. It provides a realistic perspective. It may appear that others are succeeding around you while you continue to struggle. However, what I have learned over the years is that most people still go through the struggles from time to time. Many are just more silent during those times. We like to share the good things and positive experiences, but when we feel we are failing at our goals then sometimes we tend to sink into silence. So please hang in there! Please don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. It never leads to benefit. We are all unique with our own individual struggles and successes. I'm glad you are reaching out for help. Too many times we don't allow ourselves to do that. Here are some of my favorite quotes that I keep around to remind me to let go of the anxiety in my mind: "This too shall pass." "Laugh Often" & "It will be all right in the end. If it is not all right, then it is not the end."
    Take a few deep breaths and above all else…just don't give up.
    You will be in my thoughts.

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