INTRODUCTION

I wrote this book thinking of you.

 

I’m not sure if it’s you or someone close to you who is suffering from clinical depression, anxiety, or bipolar II disorder, but I’m honored you picked up this copy. I decided ahead of time that if Life Is Worth Getting Better only helped you in any way, then it was well worth my time to write it.

 

I would like you to know; I am neither a doctor nor a therapist. I am just a regular mom who went through this and made it to the other side with the grace of God. I have no way of knowing all the answers to these terrible mental disorders.

This book is my story of how—with God’s help—I overcame clinical depression, anxiety, and bipolar II disorder.

 

You may argue that my story has nothing to do with your story. You might be right. However, the underlying challenges and struggles of depression, anxiety, and bipolar II disorder may be surprisingly familiar. Pain levels humanity. Suffering cannot distinguish your background, your age, or your credit score.

 

The purpose of this book is to encourage you or your loved one to find a treatment to get well. I would like you or your loved one to know that you too can make it. You can recover from these terrible sicknesses. I have an obligation to tell you that there is hope for you. You can get well. You need to know that there is still more life left in you to live!

 

The first chapters describe how I felt when we had moved to England in 2012. My depression hit an all-time low. Later I write about when I started to feel better once I started my treatment. My recovery was not a straight line. I had my ups and downs—just like everyone else.

At the end of this book, I include the different things that worked for me in my recovery. I hope you find them helpful.

 

My goal is simply to help you—even for a few steps—on your journey to recovery.

First, in the denial stage, you commonly assume that you must just be having a bad couple of weeks. You believe that before long, you are just going to get better. You forecast it will all go away as soon as you relax or have a less busy week at work.

 

Then, I will help you identify some of the issues that may be affecting your everyday life. Unfortunately, these illnesses affect your entire life. They inhibit daily activities, we would otherwise do effortlessly: working, studying, thinking straight, reading, driving, concentrating, eating, and sleeping.

 

These illnesses tarnish our social lives too. You are not yourself when you are sick. Your social life would naturally include being a parent (if you have kids). It can be challenging to take care of your children when you are not feeling up to par.

 

Most importantly, this book shares practical ways that may help you feel better and inspire you to look forward to being healthy again. You can enjoy your life as you used to. When you start feeling healthy again, you are going to laugh. The sound of your laughter will probably bring tears to your eyes. You will cherish your life as you have never before. It will be your second chance at living.

 

Your life is too precious just to give up. I know it may not seem that valuable to you right now.  I have been there. I used to feel I had the lowest self-esteem. It seemed my life had passed me by. With my depression, I felt like I would not be able to accomplish anything ever again. I did not believe I was anyone special or that my life had any particular purpose.

 

Do not listen to those thoughts! They are not true. You have a great life ahead of you! If you have a pulse, then it is never too late. When you start to feel better, you will rise from the sadness and begin to shine again.

When you start to recover, you will begin to feel more joyful. You will become increasingly stronger emotionally. You will live without regrets or fear. You will be thankful you had a second chance at life and that you did not give up on yourself. You will enjoy all the things you used to like doing before you got sick.

 

I used to believe there was no relief from these terrible diseases, but you can recover. I did, and so have many others before me. I am sure you can too! You will get well if you decide that you want to work toward that goal.

 

Do you want to get well? It may seem like a crazy question, but when we learn to live with a sickness so long, we get comfortable with it. When we have had it for so long, we cannot remember what life looked like before we got sick.

If you decide to get well, it will not happen overnight. That would be unrealistic and quite unfair. It will not be easy, but you can do it!

 

Other people may volunteer to help you get well. Be thankful for family and real friends in your life who will do anything for you. Their prayers and love will heal your heart. You will find yourself thanking all of them someday.

 However, I have to be honest with you. YOU are the only person who can decide to get well. Nobody else can do it for you. I have yet to meet anyone who outsourced his or her recovery!

 

You will get better if you decide you want to get well—and if you are willing to do something about it. You have to decide, no matter how you’re feeling today, that this sickness is not going to get the best of you. You might not be able to grasp that concept right now. That’s okay. Just say it aloud so your brain can hear it. You are moving forward an inch at a time, but that will do. Even with baby steps, it will feel like you are making progress. I know you can do this!

 

I hope you will find comfort in knowing you do not walk this dark road alone.

 

Millions of people all over the world suffer from mental illnesses every single day. You have no idea how many people take medications for these types of illnesses. One in four people will have to take antidepressants at some point in his or her life. That only accounts for patients who seek help. Unfortunately, many people go undiagnosed, especially men.

 

You do not walk this road alone because God walks with you. Maybe you are not aware of that yet. Even on the darkest days—when you do not believe you will ever smile again or feel hopeful—He is right there next to you. He is cheering you on. Life is worth getting better because God loves you. He wants to give you an abundant life!

 

When God created you, He saw you as perfect in every way. He packed gifts, abilities, and promises in your heart so you would have an overflowing life. He did not just disappear after you were born, wishing you “all the best” for your life. He has been with you every day! He was holding you when the depression hit the worst. That is why you are still alive today. He still wants you to enjoy your life and all He has planned for you! You are valuable! There is no one like you!

 

We are all born originals. That’s why our fingerprints are all unique. No one else can be you. Oscar Wilde was right when he said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

 

Life is worth getting better! Come on! Let’s do this!

 
 
© 2016 Maria A. Mansfield