I've suffered from mental health for over 2 decades since my early 20's and it's fare to say the first half of that was nothing short of a complete shit show. I was young and completely lacking in the skills I needed to help myself so as a result I spent 10 years drifting from place to place trying to escape my woes but ultimately always ending up having to restart somewhere because things went tits up.
Luckily though with a lot of help and a bit of luck things started to get better after I turned 30. I managed to get a handle on my mental health and with that came stability.... Stability enough for me to settle down, park my roots and start my journey with the healing & recovery process.
What Do I Take From This?
Was it dark? Absolutely..............Would I wish it on anybody? Absolutely NOT!
NOT A CHANCE
Without my struggles, I wouldn't be here today and today is where I'm at my happiest. This raises the question though.....
Are We Only Allowed To Suffer From Our Mental Health?
It's a strange question I get it but it's a question I often ask myself. The truth is my mental health has been both a blessing and a curse and yes I've suffered but I've also been given a gift from it all and this idea in the Psychological world has a name and that name is "Post Traumatic Growth"
What Is Post Traumatic Growth?
Recent research by positive psychology psychologists have suggested that some individuals that experience prolonged periods of stress and anxiety can not only recover from the trauma but gain something positive and extra from the experience.
‘It is through this process of struggling with adversity that changes may arise that propel the individual to a higher level of functioning than which existed before the event’ (Carver, 1998)
PTG is a theory in positive psychology that was introduced by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun in the early 1990s. Their studies and observations indicated that some individuals who have gone through trauma managed to gain some positives out of the event such as a healthier and accepting understanding of who they were with a deeper and more
empathetic connection to others (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996).
In their studies they Specifically identified 5 areas in a persons life that we’re improved because of the traumatic events those people experienced. These were -
1: Appreciation of life
When confronted with fear and loss, we often become better at noticing what we still have but may have previously overlooked. Leaders can model this by acknowledging that fundamental things about living and working are to be valued.. Richard G. Tedeschi
2: Relationships with others
These are often born of the need to give and receive support through trying times. Trauma can help forge new relationships and make people more grateful for the ones they already have. Coming through a crisis together is a bonding experience. Richard G. Tedeschi
3: New possibilities in life
When new realities prevent the resumption of old habits, roles, and strategies, we must adapt and innovate. Leaders must have the courage and enthusiasm to test these new paths and show their people that change is to be embraced rather than feared. Richard G. Tedeschi
4: Personal strength
People are often surprised by how well they have handled trauma. They are left better equipped to tackle future challenges. That can apply to teams and organizations, too. Groups often come through such trials with a clearer picture of their collective knowledge, skills, resilience, and growth potential. Richard G. Tedeschi
This comes from reflection on the “big questions” that are often ignored in the routine of daily life. The challenges to core beliefs that we encounter in trauma often force people to become amateur theologians or philosophers to design a life worth continuing to live. Richard G. Tedeschi
For me personally.... With my own journey with mental health I know for sure beauty can be born from pain and although this doesn't take away from the pain we have suffered and how bad life can get it just says change is always possible..... All those old cliches like " lessons to learn" "Silver Linings" or "When life gives you lemons make lemonade" are there from a reason.
I guess in a way it's talking about hope and how through the darkest of days we can learn how to thirve again.
Anyway guys and girls If you like what you read you can always subscribe to my news letter so you'll get notified when I upload a new blog..... and it would be great if you could share all this out to anyone and everyone.
Until next time xxx