(I originally wrote this poem years ago, but it took a lengthy healing journey in therapy to finally reach the point where I felt strong and believed in myself).
YOU know you are strong inside despite what mental or chronic illness has dealt you.
YOU know you are doing the best that you can, with what life has handed you.
YOU can pat yourself on the back right now, for a job well done. Mastering and surviving each day with an illness, in my eyes, is a full-time job.
Only YOU will know when it’s time to return to the working world; if that’s your goal. It’s alright to be coached and nudged, but you are really the best judge.
Only YOU know the blackness felt during depression – how the thick black mud swallows you up and is unforgiving.
Maybe YOU don’t know how very precious you are, and that you didn’t ask for this illness, and didn’t choose to be ill, and that mental illness is not a character flaw.
YOU will find society’s thinking and attitudes on invisible illness stigma still remain, but with education, perhaps people will alter their opinions and/or judgment.
But YOU know YOU, and that is all that is important.
(Edited and reposted)
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019