Valuing Each Day – Kalie Oku

I struggle with mental health complications. It’s been an on-and-off struggle for the past several years. In case anyone is wondering, I have PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. My condition affects my psyche and my physical body. I struggle most with mood stability, somewhat uncontrollable suicidal thoughts, and overwhelming feelings of irritability or hopelessness. I’m open about it because why not? I understand many people value privacy and personal security, but I think being transparent about my suffering may help others realize how tangible and real mental suffering is. It’s all around us, it sucks, but people like me get through their shit and still function beautifully one way or another.

After months of contemplation and thorough self-reflection, I realized that the next step in mental healing for me is striving to value each day. I think it is helpful for me to take a moment each night to re-cap via journaling why each day was important. This is a strategy for me to reflect on happy experiences, learning experiences, peaceful experiences. Next time I find myself feeling trapped in a void, I hope to have the strength to look through my journal entries. When I am depressed, I have a strong tendency to think only in negatives, to forget love and life. I forget about my loving family, my friends who care for me deeply. It’s very scary and a horrible feeling to forget all the light and love in the world; to instead rot in a void of self-hatred and suffering.

Journaling each night with: “Today was important because. . .” helps shift my habit of self-defeating statements into self-statements of growth and gratitude. I can’t get rid of my suffering, but by taking control of what I can do, I can live a fulfilling life, striving for grace and balance. So far I have 11 entries. 11 days of documented importance.

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