Mental Health Challenges as Superpowers
But these challenges taught me an invaluable lesson in empathy, vulnerability, and the importance of connection to other people. I learned instructive lessons about this deeply human experience we are walking through together, and it greatly informs my work and personal life now. My story changes others’ beliefs too; when we tell stories of struggle and challenge that defy conventional stereotypes, we break down barriers for others to share their own authenticity and experience in turn.
And we’re given the means (or forced, verbiage up to you) to do the really hard work of caring for ourselves deeply. Of learning what prevents crisis, of learning how to fill up our battery and keep a well-stocked piggy bank, of knowing the warning signs. I believe strongly, now, that my challenges (then and now) are my superpowers.
Perhaps the memory of your lows inspires the creativity you bring to your work, now. Or maybe the anxiety you experienced before has changed the way you relate to other people. Or perhaps the intrusive thoughts you deal with have shown you how to care for yourself in a way you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Or maybe this idea feels like a load of garbage today—that’s possible, too. (Reasonable, even!)
Our intent isn’t to tell you how to feel, because suppressing feelings is often one of the factors that leads us to unsatisfactory relationships with alcohol. Numbing the feelings, pushing them down, using something external to avoid them.
Instead, feel your feelings—we’ll just offer slight reframes along the way.