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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Slay the Dragon.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. May is also home to my wedding anniversary, mothers day, and birthday. If you want to make May super exciting, rearrange the letters of the month and viola you've spelled my first name. Clearly May was meant to be a month dedicate to me. There is some sense of irony that the month dedicate to mental health is preceded by the month that is dedicated to my professional world.


It seems fitting that I reach my 50th blog post this month. Fifty entries centered around mental health and hygiene. The many ways my life, personally and professionally, weave around these themes. A living journal that reminds me of where I have been and the work that still lies ahead. Last week was stressful for a myriad of reasons; the higher my stress the worse my anxiety becomes which impacts my depression. It's my own personal tilt-o-whirl.


In thinking back over the the past 49 weeks of blogging I try to measure what I have learned; what I need to continue to grow; what grace I have shown myself; what moments of struggle still exist. I wish I could pareto this out however, this type of analysis isn't beneficial. While I am someone who like numbers, facts, and figures; they don't belong here. SMART goals need not apply. Lord knows I'd struggle with R (realistic) A (achievable) and T (timely).


So, here it goes; there is no particular order, rhyme, or reason. Several of these adjectives, verbs, and metaphors could flow between silos. My recovery is nonlinear. I will have good days, bad days, and hopeful days, in no particular order. I know that part of my growth will be to accept my nonlinear recovery and stop sorting things into silos however, for now, it helps.


Need to grow:

  • Confidence

  • Patience

  • Grace

  • Slaying the Dragon

  • Forgiveness

  • Softness

Grace I have shown:

  • Letting go of shame

  • Acceptance

Moments of struggle:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Exhaustion

What I have learned/(ing):

  • Its okay to not be okay

  • Sharing your struggles is important for healing

  • Vulnerability

  • Admission is the first step

  • Coping

  • I am doing the best I can


I appreciate this list will never come with check boxes. I appreciate that come tomorrow morning this list could be thrown out the window. It's all part of that tilt-o-whirl that is anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are an illness, they are not weaknesses or lack of character (something I am learning). I am accepting that anxiety and depression will likely be something I battle for the remainder of my life. I am growing in ways to make the impact minimal. I am honest in the fact that I still have a way to heal. I acknowledge the progress I have made in the past 19 months. I am acutely aware that some pieces of me are still fragile and easily triggered.


This entire experience is an unsolvable Rubik's cube. I still consider my journey to be reminiscent of a snowglobe. The other day I came across a snowglobe with a single sailboat cutting through a blue-green sea. The sculpture without the swirling glitter and snow, while tranquil, still showed the majestic power of the sea. The juxtaposition that tranquility can exist amongst rough waters. Shake it up and add a little extra...most days I'm a little extra. If you know me, you'd likely agree.


My hope is that for those who have followed along with curiosities about mental health that your questions have been answered. Perhaps you have gained a better insight into some of the struggles people may face. Mental health and illness is unique to each person. Our stories may be parallel but our narratives are separate.


History is written by the survivors and I am surely that.


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