When Mental Health and Physical Health Collide

June 06, 2016

(Can this pug just become Young and Sick's mascot? Okay, thanks, this is a thing that is happening.)

Having both a mental illness and a chronic illness is kind of like this:

On your good days, you manage to be okay both mentally and physically. On your worst days, well... you're Leslie Knope falling head first into a pit. (If you haven't seen Parks and Recreation, please do so now.)

It can be so frustrating because when you finally have a good day without pain or a good day without anxiety, then your other illness is just waiting in the wings, ready to mess you up.

Additionally, both of them play into each other. Was your anxiety caused by your sky-high pain levels, or was your crushing headache caused by the anxiety constricting your lungs and making you worry about everything? Who really knows? If you're depressed, sometimes you get even more depressed because your joints ache and everything hurts, even your soul.

It's a hard thing to battle both your body and your mind.

Sometimes, it's hard to keep your head above the water. I know this. I get it. Mental illness is hard, period, with or without a chronic illness. It just plain sucks. Our bodies and minds can sometimes be a prison, turning against us, and it's hard. And I wish I had more answers, but I do know this:

Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.

So, when your body and your mind decide to gang up on you, have patience with yourself. Remember: it's okay to not be okay. Give yourself grace to not be good, to be upset, to be in pain. Focus on rest and recovery. Take care of yourself, be good to yourself. Keep breathing. Somehow, it's going to be okay. I promise.

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  1. Great post! physical and mental battles are so hard on their own but then put them together, sheesh! Some days I get so overwhelmed and I feel like I can't go on. Something I remind myself often is: "do the next thing. however small, just do the next thing you need to do." it might be getting a drink of water, sitting up in bed, going to the store to get food, texting a friend, watching netflix, whatever it is, just focus on the very next thing I need to do to keep my head above water.

  2. Oh man, I really needed to hear this today. Thank you so much for doing this blog, it's so encouraging to know that I'm not... messed up, you know? I mean, I'm messed up, but it's not... just... me... (*coughs* That sounded way better in my head and I have no idea how to rephrase it, sorry ;P)

  3. I've been so behind on blog reading lately! I've only just caught up on all the posts here, and I wanted to say how much it means to me what you do here. It's so very encouraging! You're amazing, Sky. <3

    Also, I totally vote the blanket pug as the mascot!