When I had emerged from a nasty low last year, Dr C encouraged me to write myself a letter to read when I was stuck in a rut again and having a rough time. My first effort came across as way too glib and saccharine, so I made another attempt some months later. It was quite a bit better but I think it was still off the mark.
Since I just clawed my way out of a rough rut and am feeling pretty good, I figure that this would be a good time to write myself another letter. Maybe I’ll hit all the right chords this time. Here goes…
I’m writing this to remind you that things are going pretty well right now. Your medications and therapy are doing the trick and you’re feeling good.
You were stuck on the couch for quite a while there, and it was really tough to do anything. Even simple things like brushing your teeth felt out of reach on some days. Remember when you’re having days like that that it’s not your fault or you being lazy, it’s the illness talking.
Keep in mind how much better you felt on the days when you’d go for a walk. Not only did you get some exercise, you got outside and off the property and pushed your comfort zone a little bit. Even the days when you sat in front of the computer or electronics bench, things were better.
Hanging out with friends is really important, too. Getting together with DA or going to the record store with WG is fun, and hanging out with FA is always a treat with a bunch of laughs built in. Plus, the trips to the hardware store get you on your feet and out of the house, too.
You’ve got family all over the country who care about you and want you to feel better. Your parents, sister, uncles and aunts, in-laws – everyone is just a phone call, text, or email away and they’ll always take time to talk if you’re feeling down.
You’ve got the best wife in the world. She’s your best friend and your coach. She makes you laugh, she dries your tears, she understands and encourages you, and she’ll stick with you through anything – she’s already proven that. You’re a very lucky guy.
Somehow, you’ve managed to luck into a great group of professionals, too. Dr C, Dr P, and Dr W are all fantastic and you’re always less than a week away from your next appointment. If you have to go back to the hospital for a tune-up, you can – and the staff there is fantastic, too.
Family, friends, professionals… there are so many people who want nothing more than for you to feel better. You have a great support structure in place – don’t be afraid to use it.
When you’re feeling down, remember your mindfulness exercises and try to stay active. You’ve been through rough patches before and have always made it out the other side – remember that.
Take it easy,