Mental Health and the Value of Being (as Stubborn as Humanly Possible)

October 29, 2010 Kate White

There's a lot about anxiety that I don't know, but I do know that no matter what variety you're dealing with, it's tough. I can't afford to just sit around and let the waves roll in, no matter how much that might seem like a good idea sometimes.

But I want to resist. I want to fight and struggle and get free, somehow. I may not know exactly how, or even if I ever truly can. And I may not be the best at planning ahead but I am stubborn. I'm guessing most folks I know have caught on to that one too, by now.

Growing up, I heard a lot about virtue and vice. The more I heard about that kind of thing, the less I felt like I knew what I was doing, or who I really was;

The world felt distant, because I wasn't sure that someone who had panic attacks, PTSD flashbacks, and sat around staring at the walls yet not really seeing anything, I wasn't sure someone like that could be anything like other people.

Maybe I was from Titan? (It's a small frozen rock near Saturn, charitably called a moon.)

Living with Anxiety

There were times when I looked in the mirror and I didn't see much of anything, found it hard to care. So there are days I'll wake up and I just won't understand how I got here. Then I remember, oh, right - mostly because I'm stubborn, and lucky.

Somehow, I didn't give in to those terrible days, weeks, months. Somewhere I decided that yeah, life is a lot of trouble, but it's mine anyway. Even if I'm an anxious mess. At least I'm here.

And with impeccable logic I can always state that I am always exactly where I am: That much is OK. It has to be, because you are who you are and you do have a place, and a part to play, no matter how often the world reminds you that you're 'mentally ill'. Maybe that's all they see?

But so what if you come from a small frozen rock? Icecaps melt, people heal. They really do; About every 7 years all the cells in our bodies change.

Nothing stays the same- even if it looks that way.

Treating anxiety and mental illness is about getting way beyond the surface

Anxiety recovery requires a lot. It means taking a look at what you are, then deciding what you want to become.

No matter how worthless, awful, anxious, terrified, numb, alone you may feel, that's a something. You can work with something. You can make things from something. So long as you keep going; That's the pill I wish I could pop when things are too hard, too much, too off.

People will go ahead and try to tell you who they reckon you should be anyhow. That you've got the wrong idea, that you should just get over these pesky emotions, keep calm, and carry on. And I'm sure you can. At a cost. The cost you've been paying for years, where you get up and nothing much seems different. Where your heart sinks a little at the thought of another day stuck wondering how 'well' you are, and by which definition.

While you're wondering that, you can also think a little more about what you want. Care just a little - each day - for that small, true self that gets lost in the busyness, stress and pain of these lives we lead. These quiet, all too lonely lives spent reaching for things labeled Tomorrow, When I Win the Lottery, When I Am Well.
You don't have to wait.

Mental health is an everyday thing.

Photo with thanks to Anarchosyn: Flickr Creative Commons

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APA Reference
White, K. (2010, October 29). Mental Health and the Value of Being (as Stubborn as Humanly Possible), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Kate White

October, 27 2011 at 6:21 am

Very true! Makes a chnage to see someone spell it out like that. :)

November, 4 2010 at 1:28 pm

I am so glad I am not alone. I can really relate! We do need to take care of are true selves. I am also a very stubborn person, just like yourself. Who too gets wrapped up in my day to day lives. I could use that little reminder more often.
Thank you so much for that reminder to treat my body and mind with some respect.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate White
November, 4 2010 at 2:04 pm

You're totally welcome, honey. :)

November, 2 2010 at 5:16 pm

thanks for this- a lot of what you said resonated with me. particularly what you say about trying to control your feelings and/or the manifestations of those feelings- i've spent many years focused on control, and am starting to understand that there is no substitute for accepting who i really am. thank you.

Janet Buchler
November, 1 2010 at 5:35 pm

Hmmm this post is very good.keep goin on
Can you tell me any related articles?

November, 1 2010 at 6:44 am

There is nothing like being with children and playing because it gives my mind a rest and I actually feel human again. Glad it also works for you.

October, 31 2010 at 7:51 am

Oh, Kate. You tenacious, stubborn, staying-here-no-matter-what angel. I'll tell you what I want today: to go trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew, who are dressing up as a princess and Dracula. I can't wait to see them and get all caught up in their Hallowe'en tizzy. I hope they get lots of Rocket candies in their goodie bags so I can swipe a few and get those yummy sour little discs into my mouth -- especially the purple ones!
Funny ... so often, the freedom *is* in the struggle, in our choice to engage with whatever we're holding ourselves back and down with. It would be so much easier for me to stay home in my flannel jammies and do nothing but drink one cup of tea after the other and sit here staring at my computer screen. But no! I have a vampire and a princess waiting for me!
My own good stubbornness got me visiting these kids and their family last night for some pre-Hallowe'en play. I crouched with my little princess, her dolls and ponies and blankies in her closet so we could practice our dragon roars and burst out of our hiding place ready to ROCK! I also somehow managed to crawl under my princess's baby brother's crib so I could rescue some other dolls who were stuck there ... Then we took every book in the room (my princess, just like me, loves her bookies!) and laid them out on the floor like tiles, and then we had to put a doll on top of each one. Then my princess told me to put all the books back in a nice pile beside her bed, and then we tore off downstairs to show off our dragon roars. Whew!
I arrived home exhausted and quaking ... but relieved of my usual tight-headedness. Nothing like a three-year-old princess to vanquish the old murk from my brain!
xoxo :-D xoxo

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