Self-Care Tip #114 – Tough it out. Be a friend to yourself.
Trying to tough it out is good it’s just not what most people think.
Many people think that toughing it out means staying med-free and getting through melancholy, anxiety, emotional chaos with gritted teeth. They gather a degree of commendation from weathering out the behavioral and emotional problems until they either feel better or don’t.
This is not the kind of toughing it out that I’m calling worthy of our life efforts. It is in fact the opposite. Toughing it out is doing what may be socially and culturally counterintuitive. Getting medical care sooner than later. Not waiting to see what will happen before getting medical care if it is indicated. Believing the medical data, the physician you trust, the knowledge that mental illness is medical, biological and often PROGRESSIVE over time.
Waiting means you are getting more ill on a cell level and at higher risk for your future and waiting is not being tough.
Toughing it out is digging into your courage bank every day to take that pill when you feel ashamed of it. Toughing it out is fighting for your brain’s future. Toughing it out is sacrificing what ever you need to, to give your loved ones and yourself the healthiest you possible. Even if that means talking yourself into it, going up against your fears, ignoring prejudice, ignoring opposing recommendations from your favorite sources.
This calls for thick skin.
Candace tells me she still intuitively can’t believe this, even though her mind tells her it is true. She takes her medication but it still hurts a little every time. Like she’s betraying herself. Like she must grieve for herself. Candace says the apparent calm, decrease in anxiety, improved relationship with her children, and the flowering hope eases her inner psychic pain. Candace is drawing strength every day from the growing evidence of health. Candace is tough.
Question: What are you getting tough with in your life? How do you do it? Please tell me your story.
- Dear Wendy: “I’m Afraid My Medical Condition Will Scare Him Off” (thefrisky.com)
- Stigma haunts mentally ill Latinos (cnn.com)