By Yohanna Abdullah
To people having mental illness little things can be the biggest challenge. Like getting up in the morning and brushing one’s teeth, bathing and dressing up for work. It may seem that he or she is just “a lazy sloth” and amounts to “a good for nothing” but it is really a true symptom of depression.
This is true because when the same person has elevated mood, he or she springs off the bed each morning and dresses with aplomb and arrives at work bright and chirpy and early.
The battle every morning with depression may be a simple set of steps to take but it is really like a battle with an inner demon which has a mind of its own and is bent on taking over the body. You either win, lose or draw and have to face the consequences.
If you eventually reach the office, late and via taxi and frequently too, you will not only be the poorer for it, you also have to face the boss who is understanding or not based on his knowledge and understanding of your illness.
That is why, some reckon they should be upfront with their illness before signing up for the job and if the boss accepts them, he or she is more likely to be understanding and concerned.
Which leads me to the next issue of when you have a mental illness and your work is affected how should you react? Quite a few of my friends chose to focus on their health and put their careers on hold while they stabilise their mental states. The length of the break depends on each individual and his or her struggle to restore comfort and peace of mind.
Indeed taking a break can be a great relief and it may be time to pursue interests and past times that are therapeutic and calming. Join a psychiatric rehabilitation centre such as our three centres at Club HEAL, where you make friends, do physical and spiritual exercises, be motivated and gather tips on how to handle a particular mental illnes, learn pottery and glass painting and gain knowledge on how to manage mental illness and garner the support of family and friends in your journey to optimal health.
Sometimes the healing journey is not about battling, it is about surrendering your will to the Highest Will, that is God Himself. Learning to see the good in what He ordains, even if it seems like a painful punishment for something you may have done in the past, understanding His Goodness and the fact that He is All-Seeing and All-Forgiving and All-Merciful knows what you do not know about your situation, you will see the wisdom of His choices for your life.
Remember that everyone has his or her own sets of challenges and you are not alone. Life is a daily experience and we can break each day into a moment at a time, for us to give thanks for the gift of life, to cherish the goodness and happiness in each second, the triumphs and beauty in a moment, even as simple as beholding a pretty wild flower in a pavement crack or appreciating a cool breeze under the hot sun.