Friday, August 5, 2016

The Valley Between the Mountains

This quote simplifies not only every day struggles, but also mental illness. It exemplifies the roller coaster battle. Reminding us for every valley, there is an ascent to a mountain; for every mountain, a descent into a valley. 

I have to constantly remind myself of it, mostly when I'm in the valley, wondering how I got back down there when so recently I was ascending to a peak.

Mental illness can take a long time to figure out, analyze, get to know, and find ways to survive through. It takes trial and error...many errors. It can become so daunting to fail at figuring it out so many times and to constantly wonder when it will be better (forever). To understand that it might not get better forever is a realization many don't want to face, including myself for many years. 

I wondered what the fight was for if I was going to be in battle for so long. What was the point of continually agonizing over the way my mind worked if it couldn't be fixed? I hated it. I hated my mind. I hated the way it made me act, and feel, and respond to others around me and situations presented. 

Don't show me paradise if it's only going to be burned down...over and over again.

But this battle is being fought, and each peak I reach feels better than the last. Each climb brings me more strength than I had before, and each time I find myself descending into a valley I remind myself there is another mountain always waiting to be climbed and conquered, and the views at the top are always worth it.

I'll say it again- the views at the top are always worth it.

Mental illness is controlling, it can cloud the brain like a dense, dark fog. This fog may seem impenetrable but the fact is that it is not. Your eyes and soul are a flashlight if you choose. They can lead you through it to the other side to find the trail back to ascension. 

If you don't believe this, it only means you are lounging in the valley. It's plush, dense, tangled in a mess. But if you keep walking, you'll approach that mountain side and see the incline. It's daunting, it's challenging, and likely will take much effort on your part, but again:

the views at the top are always worth it.

Each step up the incline you take, you are telling your mental illness that it does not have the power you once thought it did. You are telling it that you will prevail, amongst all odds. You are growing, with each step to a better you. The pain of the ascent will only make reaching a peak even better, it will make the views take your breath away and make you happy you are alive to see it, because, yet again,

the views at the top are always worth it.