I've been reflecting lately about the grief that comes alongside living with a chronic mental illness. We tend not to reflect in depth about the losses that we accumulate whether we must endure recurrent depression or anxiety; the missed opportunities, the wasted time, the seemingly pointless suffering. Instead, we are inspired to focus on our individual recovery. We are told to hold onto hope - to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Whilst these views are no doubt essential, and are certainly things that have carried me through the darkness at times, I can't help but wonder how we tend to our existential grief. Perhaps our grief brings with it a learning of acceptance? Or perhaps we simply learn to move on despite our setbacks?
This grief can leave us feeling hopeless at times. What has worked for you when you are overwhelmed by despair? When you feel that everything is unfair and the world has taken something that you thought you deserved? How do we continue to endure?
An essential part of the grieving process is enduring the struggle that leads us to find meaning in our losses.
For me, I find meaning in using my story. I must accept that some things have changed in my life, perhaps forever, as a result of my illness. But, equally, I would not trade away my illness despite the grief it causes. Because to do so would be to change the very nature of who I am, who I have become and how I have improved as a person not despite but because of my own battles.
Over to you forum. How do you find meaning?