Mental Health: How to Save Yourself
Written by: Mica Mackenzie
I’ve never been able to convince myself that people can save other people. And, to put it simply, that’s because, no matter what, you have to give consent in any instance that pertains to your physical self and what you do. (Okay, I guess that didn’t come out as simply as I had hoped.)
Try to relate it to mental health if you can. For example, I’m sure many of you have heard someone say, “If I hadn’t met this person I probably wouldn’t be here today. They literally saved my life”. I mean, that’s sweet and all, but did they actually save their life? Were they personally responsible for their life being preserved? I don’t think so.
I mean, can someone force you to save your own life against your will? Mentally, no. If someone doesn’t want to get better then they won’t get better until they have a change of heart. Believe it or not, the human mind is incredibly powerful. Our personal wants, thoughts, and desires can have a physical effect on us no matter what, or who, tries to stop it.
So, if other people can’t force you to save your own life against your will, then you must have consented to living. You must have actually made your own decision to keep fighting. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Here’s what I think:
I think we, our individual selves, are the only people who can be responsible for such a radical inner change as saving your own lives. Now, can people inspire you to change your life? Absolutely! It happens all the time and it’s even happened to me personally. But stop giving all of this credit for your own life to someone else.
So, what I believe is this:
People can’t save people. People can only help other people save themselves.
In reality, if you’re in a place where you don’t want to live anymore, you have a long road of recovery ahead of you. There’s usually a lot of depression involved in those feelings and it takes time to work through them to get you to the healthier place you need to be. And there’s no shame in that.
Take the time that you need. Learn how to care for yourself again. If you feel like you need additional help, don’t rule out therapy. Therapy is actually a good thing and there are all types that you can look into. It’s not all medications and getting put away into white rooms. In fact, it’s mostly talking and thinking things through with an unbiased third party and then learning life skills that someone failed to teach you somewhere along the way.
I walked my own road with these problems and have had to come back up from that low--and it’s fucking hard. I’m not going to lie! But it’s also incredibly empowering and inspiring at the same time. I saw myself hit rock bottom and then I saw myself take every single step back up the mountain afterward. (And, if you’re all wondering, that is what keeps me going. That is why I don’t give up.)
So how do you save yourself and your mental health?
You stop giving other people the credit for ‘saving you’ and for the all the hard work you had to put in behind the scenes to get you to the place you are today. They didn’t do that, you did! Take a moment and look back at all of that pain and suffering and all of the hard moments when you felt completely and utterly alone. Who was always there?
It was you. You were the only person that never left. You are the only constant in this situation. So, give yourself some credit--a pat on the back, if you will--and start treating yourself like you deserve to be here. Because you do! You absolutely do.
I can’t think of one person who was there for me every single time I needed them to be and, hey, that’s completely normal. We’re dealing with humans here, aren’t we? Humans that are fallible and that can’t always be there when we need them to. So if you bring that aspect into the picture you’ll really be able to see how much of the credit goes to you.
You deserve the credit for surviving the anxiety attacks, for calling your therapist during a breakdown, for admitting to your friends and family that you have struggles, for wiping every tear away, and for pushing through, even in the worst of times. That was all you. You did all of that, either with someone there to help, or if things were really bad, completely on your own.
Embrace the struggle, make it through, and then put it behind you. You are not limited to this silhouette of a life you are trapped in at the moment. If you can get out of the jungle, I think you’ll realize the whole world is in front of you and it’s yours for the taking.
And if you still need saving...if you feel like you can’t escape your deepest, darkest pit:
Please reach out for help. Your friends, your family, a helpline, a therapist, a hospital--whatever you think you need. At this point, if you don’t think you can save yourself, then you need to let other people help you get back to a place, mentally, where you want to try again.
Let other people help you save yourself….all you have to do is take charge by reaching out.
Here are a few resources for those in need or if you don’t have family or friends to help you:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673)
The people answering these hotlines are trained professionals who only want the best for you. So, let them help! They can help you talk through what’s going on, what your next steps should be, and get you in contact with any other people you may need to speak to.
Remember, at the end of the day, all you have is yourself. You are worth the time and investment to get the help you need.
Mica Mackenzie is the founder and CEO of The Quiet Nonsense, LLC. She currently lives in Dallas with her boyfriend, Hunter, and their goldendoodle puppy, Ted! Her dream is to see the growth and success of her alternative entertainment company, QN. She’s obsessed with all types of things philosophical and scientific and has a huge heart and passion for those struggling with mental illness. Feel free to keep up with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.