Mental Health Journey Departing Thoughts
It's time for me to say goodbye to The Life: LGBT Mental Health here at HealthyPlace. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to share my mental health experiences with everyone. I've learned a lot as a mental health blogger. Most of all, I've learned more about myself and my identity.
My relationship with myself is always changing. We, as humans, are always growing. We have the capability and the freedom to change and become the best version of ourselves. I want to leave you with some discoveries I've made as a HealthyPlace blogger. These thoughts are influenced by existential therapy, focusing on the human condition, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), teaching people to accept their thoughts and feelings.
Freedom and Responsibility, the Companions of Our Journey with Mental Health and LGBT Issues
I think we all know the quote that reminds us with freedom comes responsibility. If you never quite grasped what that meant, let me try and lay it out for you. Humans are free to make their own choices. We are free to think and do as we choose. What we do with that freedom is our decision alone to make. Our choices and what we do with those choices are our responsibility. Not making a choice doesn't relieve us of this responsibility because not choosing is a choice that can lead to regret. I've recently been coming to the understanding that I am responsible for myself. No one else is going to take responsibility for me.
I often find myself going to my therapist for advice. I struggle to make tough decisions and experience great anxiety trying to do the right thing. It's hard to remind myself that these decisions rarely ever come with a clear-cut wrong and right answer. As an aspiring therapist, I also learned that therapists aren't going to solve your problems for you or make your decisions for you, or else that will lead to dependence. A therapist will instead help you come to those answers on your own and take responsibility for the direction of your life. The answers will always come from within you.
Acceptance Improved My Mental Health
I used to treat myself as a project that needed fixing. I had all of these "problems." I came to the understanding that acceptance is key to my happiness. I am always changing and growing as a person. I don't need to be constantly trying to obtain some idealized perfect version of myself. I can make a conscious choice every day to accept myself as who I am. I accept my gender identity and sexuality may never be fixed and always change. However, at times, I know I'm driven by parts of myself that I don't want to accept, like my low self-esteem or the part that wants to meet everyone's expectations. But if I don't accept these parts of myself, who will?
Another word of advice: acknowledgment does not equal acceptance. I didn't understand this until perhaps today. I would acknowledge thoughts, feelings, and parts of myself and then continue to judge and rationalize them. But that was not true acceptance. I was treating these parts of myself as a problem to be solved. This behavior made the "problem" worse. It was not until I experienced my feelings in the moment, sat with them, and observed them nonjudgmentally that I could truly accept them.
Best Wishes on Your Mental Health Journey
I hope you find this information useful, along with all my writings so far. But, as always, take my words with a grain of salt. What works for me might not work for you. Or you might be on a different part of your journey, entirely separate from my own. These are concepts I've found hard to accept. I find myself wanting to help people I care about by trying to bring them to my understanding. But I need to remind myself that I had to take my own journey to get where I am today. Everyone has their own journey to take. I wish you the best on your journey. Thank you for everything, and farewell.
Mitchell, H. (2023, November 2). Mental Health Journey Departing Thoughts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2023/11/mental-health-journey-departing-thoughts