One of the hardest things in life to do is change. We, as people, seemed to be wired to resist change. There are some who can go with the flow, but a lot of us have a hard time. Why is that? My guess is change means you are going from something you know to something you don’t yet know or understand. Maybe a fear of the unknown? A loss of control you once had in the old way of doing things? Both of these questions ring true. At least it does for me. I have, in a lot of areas in my life, accepted that change is inevitable. It doesn’t mean I embrace it all of the time. It is just a fact of life. Change will occur. Change has to occur. We need to take time to recognize these changes from time to time. Realize what we have changed has turned into a good thing.
Change is how we continue moving on down the road. Without change, there can be no discovery. Without change, we remain on the same path we have always been on. Some of these paths we are on need to be changed. They are destructive paths. Without change, these destructive paths will catch up with us.
The hardest part of my mental health journey was accepting the idea that I needed to change the way I was living my life. The way I was living was taking me down a destructive path. At times I was able to recognize this destructive path I was on, but I chose to ignore it. I chose to continue going about life the same way I always had. Unfortunately, the same way was bringing me down. By down, I mean way way down. Down to the point I began to think about not being here anymore. My old way of going about life was destructive to the point I felt I couldn’t handle it anymore and needed to get out.
I used the word “unfortunately” above, when referring to doing things the same way and how those same ways were bringing me down. I am not so sure it is the right word. Maybe “fortunately” is a better word. What in the heck do I mean? You can’t possibly think having been drug so low to the point you thought about ending your life is a fortunate thing.
In the moment, I mean the moment back in July 2019. Nothing about anything going on felt fortunate. Honestly, everything felt like nothing really. Besides the mental and emotional pain I was feeling, I was pretty numb to life.
The whole idea of the title of this blog is to be able to look back on where you were and be able to recognize the changes you have made. Recognize where you are now.
I had gotten to a point in my life where I could no longer do things the way I was doing them. I had to change. No question about it. Don’t think for a second it made it an easy decision. Even then, while at my rock bottom, I was afraid of the change I knew I had to make. I am so glad, and I thank God, that I decided to make a change. A huge change.
I decided to stop doing things on my own. Seek help. The toughest decision was the initial decision about change…allowing myself to be admitted to a mental health floor. The thought scared me, but I knew the other option was going home and falling back into my old ways. I decided to go in as I couldn’t convince myself I could continue surviving by going about my life in the same old way.
This initial decision to accept change led to an avalanche of change for me. I began talking more about what was going on instead of bottling everything up. I started seeing a therapist. I started seeing a psychiatrist. I decided to quit drinking. I began exercising again. I was journaling at least everyday. I was channeling my time and energy into work and also hobbies I enjoyed doing. Now I’m far from perfect and some of these have slipped up from time to time, but the point is I decided to do things different from what I knew and start attempting new ways to go about my life. I decided to change.
I am very hard on myself. I don’t always take the time to reflect on my change and realize how far I have come. Some days I just don’t feel awesome. Those days I feel like nothing is working and why am I doing all of these things. Why did I change all of these things about me when I still feel crappy. What is the point of expending all of this time and energy for something that isn’t working?
I’ll tell you what the point is. Regardless of how hard you are on yourself, the change has taken root. You are not the same person you were before you decided to accept the change. You have come a long way. You have to recognize the efforts you have put into changing and bettering yourself.
Really allow yourself to look at who you have become. What are you doing today? Would you have been doing these things, the things to better yourself, 2-3 to even 10 years ago if you had not decided to accept change? I think about this from time to time and where I was even 2 years ago and I am night and day different. Yes, I still have plenty of my down moments, but I am a different person. I like the person I am becoming or at least the person I forgot about for some time. I really don’t miss the old me, maybe some aspects as all of this is still relatively new to me, but I am happy being this me. The me of the present. I am not the me of the past. Change has been a life changer for me and I have to recognize that.
Change can be a life changer for you as well. Some have already accepted change a long time ago and have been on the path for a while now. Some, like myself, are still just starting and getting used to it. Some may need to still accept change is needed in their life.
Change can be very scary. We don’t know what is on the other side always. Change can be great. By changing, I was able to take an “unfortunate” situation and now reflect on it as a “fortunate” occurrence. Without those moments in my life, I may not have recognized the need to change and continued down the same destructive path I was on.
You can change. It is OK to change. Change is needed for growth. We have to accept the change needed in our lives at times. We also need to take time and reflect back on those moments of change. We have to be able to pat ourselves on the back, from time to time, for the incredible change we implemented into our lives. I’m glad I decided to change and walk down a different path than I was on. I hope you can be happy too with the changes you have made in your life.
You got this! We got this! Let’s continue walking through this journey together. And remember, it is always OK to not be OK.
Have a great day!
Feel free to jump over to Facebook and join the group I’ve started:
Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health
This group is meant to focus on an “everybody in” type of focus. I share my music and also this blog there amongst other things. The music I share is instrumental (I am not a singer). I try and attach a positive message to each tune. I also encourage others to share their hobbies or anything that they like to do that makes them happy. Or share anything that is working for them. A place where we can get away from things for a while. A group approach to improving each others mental health!
I’ve also started a podcast in hopes that my desire to spread mental health awareness can reach more people.
Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health
Please check it out!