I remember the first time my therapist told me, “Sam, you’re doing a good job.”
I remember how overwhelmed with emotion I was. I had worked so hard to keep myself steady and had spent so much time just trying to survive, but I never got any credit for this invisible battle that I was fighting every single day.
For a moment, I couldn’t catch my breath as I repeated the phrase – you are doing a good job – in my head a few more times.
When she saw me – really looked at me and saw my pain, my struggle, my willpower – I felt like my whole soul was being nourished. I was being given something I didn’t even know that I needed until that moment: validation.
People with mental illness don’t get enough credit, enough affirmations, enough love. More often than not, the words we get can feel a little hollow.
In a world that tries to tell us that we are too crazy, too much – in a world that says we are less than in so many ways – I just wanted someone to say to me, “You are exactly enough, and yes, I see how hard you’re fighting.”
If you’re anything like me, sometimes you need someone to acknowledge you, especially when things get tough. So here are some of the affirmations that I wished I had, and that every person with a mental illness (or illnesses!) deserves.