Lost in the Mental Illness Shuffle


I don’t fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach. – Mary Roach

I was not myself this week.

It has been a week that I hate the most. A week where I get lost in the shuffle of the changing of seasons and my mental health. It is normal at this time of year, and while I am more attuned than ever before with the seasonal affective disorder part of my illness, but there are still weeks where my depression takes over.

One of the first things that I lose is the feel of my writing. Mental blocks are hard enough to deal with in general, but when I lose touch with my writing, I feel lost. It is the worst feeling in the world. On certain days during this tough week, I experienced what I like to call going through the motions of life. It is mental illness autopilot. I am here and working towards my goals, but at the same time mentally I am checked out.


Mental health recovery is a road. It has its twists, the turns, ups, and downs. There will always be days where you feel lost in depression or anxiety. Days where mental health just seems impossible. One thing that I have learned over the past year and, indeed my entire journey, is that no matter how deep you get into the darkness of depression you can find your way out.

That is what I did today. I broke through the fog of my depression and did some great things here on my blog, with my writing projects, and of course my school work.

The name of the game is to find ways to shorten the length of depression cycles. In the end, it is better to embrace your depression than to fight it. I am still learning and growing in understanding my mental illness. It is a never-ending war at times, but the truth is the more battles you win, the better for your mental health. Fighting the war is worth it (okay no more cliches).

You are worth it. I am worth it, and the journey is worth it in the end. Mental health recovery is a road we are all familiar with, and we keep fighting– always.

Always Keep Fighting


Photo Credit:

Alisa Anton

Joel & Jasmin Førestbird

21 thoughts on “Lost in the Mental Illness Shuffle

    • At times that is all you can do. I have had depression cycles that lasted years, but eventually they all come to an end. Attitude towards the depression is a major part of life getting better. It is better to embrace it than run from it.

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  1. I feel you because I’m also going through a though time right now. I hope you feel better soon. Know that I’ll always be there for you ❤🙏 We are fighting this mental illness one day at a time. We are all in this together. Beautiful written post.

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  2. Pingback: Lost in the Mental Illness Shuffle – The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog – International Badass Activists

  3. Great post James. Very well written. Doesn’t it feel amazing when we make it to the other side and get through a difficult episode? I have been struggling with my PTSD symptoms lately and just made it through and over came from about six days of severe symptoms that are too familiar. I think the more you make it through and overcome the stronger you become and I think the more we conquer and learn how to conquer the better prepared we are to fight the good fight and win our battles. It gets easier over time for many reasons. There is hope. I am happy you are doing well Thanks again for your great post. Be well.

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  4. The last couple of years I have come to embrace depression and anxiety, rather than fight it. The embrace came after I expected a few years ago that depression will never go away and that I will just have better days.
    Your right that we have to change our attitude to our depression, as this is what will help us get through the difficult rides better than before we had this attitude to embrace.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautifully written James! I hope you’re feeling way better! I sincerely love reading your blog and most importantly glad to know that no one here needs to feel alone! Writing and sparking up creativity with other activities becomes a Healing Sanctuary on our darker days and that’s ok! I’ve heard that darker days and feelings of sadness where the ones that inflamed some of the best artists or writers born in this Earth! That’s why let’s use our sad days to reveal our inner creativity! Pour all your emotions and create a masterpiece anyway you like! We’re all in this together no one is alone! We’re all one!

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