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I want to list for you some of my personal goals over my short lifetime:

  1. Become a professional dancer.
  2. Run a marathon.
  3. Maintain a 4.0 GPA
  4. Wake up at 6am everyday
  5. Become a Vegan
  6. Run for a political office (and win)
  7. Become an international lawyer.
  8. Become a doctor.
  9. Join the Peace Corps.
  10. Become a nutritionist.
  11. … that’s just the beginning.

Talk about pressure.

And just as I found that my life would not, or could not devote 100% of my time and energy into one of these things my brain would switch to another one (at least no one can fault me for not being driven!) The truth is though that these things created a lot of perceived failure in my life. I remember the day that I realized I pretty much hated science (and wasn’t very good at it). My dream of being a doctor crushed and with it an entire onslaught of feelings of worthlessness.

It’s common for individuals with mental health concerns to pin their pulling out of their disease on the accomplishment of a goal. “Once I ______ then I will feel better an everything will be okay again.” The truth is the semester I made all A’s I was still sick, when I was certain I was one day going to practice law – I was still sick. The idea that recovery comes with perfection in another area in our life is a lie that we buy into to keep ourselves sane in some of the darkest times of our life. It is a false hope that we feed ourselves because we don’t understand real hope yet.

 

Let me share with you some of my goals today:

  1. Take all medication that I need to be healthy.
  2. Do something that I enjoy.
  3. Do one thing that is future focused.
  4. Eat three balanced meals.
  5. Move my body in some way.
  6. Spend time with God.
  7. Get adequate sleep.

 

You may be thinking “Wow, she really has lowered her expectations!” I feel exactly the opposite. When I am not taking care of myself and chasing something that I think will help me rather than doing things that I know to be helpful I am hurting myself today and in the future. So often we live in the future. The person we are today is the person who is going to get us there.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.