Oh, I think this is something we all identify with. It's exhausting, not being able to trust the thoughts in your head. When you feel as if you've run a marathon after washing the dishes or doing laundry. When you'd rather leave the curtains shut on your window to block out the sun, it's blinding rays reminding you of a world moving, with or without you.
But, the thing is - after you've done the hard part, whatever that may be to you....therapy, medication, creating a support system, etc. - you realize WHAT you've been missing out on. It's so...I guess, heartbreaking....realizing how much time you've lost to the illness. The only thing you can do is love and enjoy what you have, here and now. You have to fight for it, but when you've found something that works, suddenly it was all worth it. Instead of wishing the earth would swallow you up, here you are, part of something that you never even knew existed, or, it's been so long that you forgot it was there.
The good days are spectacular when you deal with mental illness. When you can come back from rock bottom, things take on such a strong value and love within your heart. You don't take them for granted. The best part is the sense of freedom when you've been able to work through it and find a way to keep it controlled - you have this feeling of confidence, of strength. When you rebuild your life and surround yourself with things that keep you sane, when you find yourself backsliding, the ones who love you will grab your hand and keep you here, connected. You won't have to do the work. Let the people who love you....just love you. That is my favorite part - when you have that network of people you love, and they love you in return, they will do the work WITH you and alleviate some of that burden. It's nice to know that someone loves you when you can't even love yourself.
Maybe you shouldn't think of it as just "management." It seems so....bleak. Disheartening. Maybe think of it....as maintenance. Taking your mind to the shop for a tune-up now and then. If you can find those things that have value, connect with the world, love....the struggle becomes less because you have a real grasp on what you miss out on when the crazy takes over.
I like to write about the good days. It gives me something a little more tangible when my mind and emotions can't connect with what I used to love. Maybe that would help you, too?
“Oh, believe, you were not born for nothing! You have not lived, or suffered, for nothing! What was created must perish, and what perished must rise again! Stop trembling! Prepare yourself to live!”
-Mahler, 2nd symphony