Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Dakota Center for Independent Living

Finally Seeing Yourself as Others See You

When you suffer for so long from any mental health issues, it is quite difficult to believe what others tell you no matter what it is. Whether it is as simple as “you look nice today” to “I like what you are wearing” we just can not seem to believe that it is actually true. Then when they try to get us to see that we have overcome so much in our journey to getting better we just go along with it and act like we agree and life goes on.

One day something amazing finally hits you and all these wonderful things people have been telling you for so long make sense to you. I know when it hit me I honestly can not describe exactly how I felt. It was a mixture of pride in myself, relief of this weight being lifted of me that I did not even realize I had been carrying, being able to tell myself that I am smart and pretty and deserving of good things in life. I have never felt these things in life before. I had never realized for myself any of this for myself. I actually felt like I was glowing. I was smiling more because for once I was feeling so much better about myself.

It is not even just about feeling better though. I can see for myself that I am handling everything better than I did in the past. I had a car issue come up that normally would have had me all worked up. Instead I kept my head and kept calm and just handled it. I was shocked. It did not even phase me. I am getting my son the help he needs and am staying calmer with him. My kids are even handling things better too. I saw a dietitian to help get my eating habits better for me and the kids. I am going to the gym now. I used to feel guilty when I would buy myself new clothes. Not anymore. I even started buying a few things with color.

It has taken quite a few years to get to this point in my life. I will admit it is still hard living every day in what people call “normal” life. I do miss the highs that come with the Bipolar but I do know that life is so much better the way it is now. I think I will always struggle a little with staying on my medications but I just have to remind myself where I have come from. I am so proud of myself and how far I have come. Time to see where I go next!