I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to anything or anyone compromising my mental health. Not saying I’m impatient when it comes to matters requiring empathy or sympathy, or that I don’t experience pain.
What I mean is I have a certain threshold for how long I am willing to let anything take up real estate in my brain and wreak havoc on my life or self esteem. The limit is different for every situation, but each time I have a little alarm bell that goes off to let me know when I’m reaching mental back-sliding territory. I spent precious years digging myself out of depression and despair and I’ll be damned if I let a person or a job drag me back to that place. And you would be wise to have the same policy for yourself.
When something starts threatening your mental health, it has a gigantic ripple affect on everything around you, and you’re most likely so wrapped up in your own misery to even see it. Not only will you begin to drag the people around you down, but your confidence will become depleted, or worse, unrecoverable.
Take for instance a job I had awhile back. It was going really great, until it wasn’t. There was internal office drama that seemed endless and it gradually started to wear me down. It started out small; whining to my friends or family about it over dinner or feeling defeated on my drive home. But then, like a cancer, it began to grow. Next thing I know I’m complaining about it to anyone who will listen, including my poor friends and family, who, now this is all they hear about anymore. I would go to bed thinking about it, I would wake up thinking about. I’d resorted to the notion that this was just going to be my life forever until I die.
I’d become an unbearable person to be around. I felt bad about myself and my unhappiness was palpable. My negativity had become like a dark hole vacuum, sucking the energy out of every room I entered. Thankfully, I have parents who one day told me they were beyond sick of hearing about it and I needed to make a change, for everyone’s sake. Not just a change, but a choice.
And they were right. I walked into work the next day and quit on the spot. A hasty move, maybe. But it was what needed to be done to save myself. I felt about a million tons of weight suddenly evaporate off of my shoulders. I chose me, and I took back control of my life.
Just about everything in your life is a choice. You chose that job. You chose that relationship. Some times jobs get shitty, and relationships get rough. That’s life. If you hate it so much, then choose something else. It’s really that simple. Do something – ANYTHING – because you know what won’t make it better? Complaining about it. I recognize that the journey in-between making the change may be complicated or difficult, but the choice for a better life for yourself is not.
Doing nothing is also a choice. In that case, at least remind yourself that you’re choosing to stay in that situation for whatever reasons and stop punishing those around you. Don’t be an askhole.
Nothing is worth compromising your mental health. Not ever. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you take back control and prioritize yourself. In the wise words of Wilson Phillips, “No one can change your life except for you.” You are not chained to anything or anyone, so do something about it. You will be surprised at how quickly things will improve once you’ve made the simple decision of wanting better for yourself.
So, find your mental threshold, save your sanity and for crying out loud, choose you. In the meantime, put this on repeat.
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I have also been through some mental issues in my late teens/early twenties. Amen to this! Great song too BTW! ?
You’re welcome for the reality check? You chose you! Wise choice. Good choice.
Amen, sister! Who knew Wilson Phillips was so wise?
Absolutely brilliant. So inspiring to read this. It has touched me and given me the much needed ‘wake up call’ I have needed for so long! LOVE Megan Conways words of wisdom and look forward to the future ones!
So true and good advice. Can be a challenge though.
Brings to mind a little prayer I learned years ago.
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
Often challenging, but over the years it’s been a comfort to me.
I think the difficulty for many is not wanting to quit “that job” until something else comes along that can provide for your family. And it can take awhile when your field leaves little room to differentiate yourself due to surplus of talent. Other times it takes awhile to course correct through additional training, etc. For some, that constant misery feeling is a driver to their success (reminding them of discomforts they will continue to have if they fail). I have been there too! “Change is the only constant” has been my policy yielding success.