Following a Different Path

Mental illness is kind of an asshole. It wants you to simply continue following the same path, never growing, never healing. As I talked about yesterday, it can keep you trapped. In my case, for example, my anxiety convinces me I am bound to fail. And so I don’t try. And I am convinced I am not making any progress because I am not worthy of progress when really it is just the broken path my anxiety tries to trap me on.

Yet healing, at least for me and many others who swear by cognitive behavioral therapy, means being mindful of my decision-making process. It means recognizing when I am staying on the wrong path because of my mental illness. And it means being able to follow a new path.

Sometimes it seems like mental illness is keeping you trapped on the same old path. But we can all choose a new path if we want to. Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke via

It is a long process, and one far harder than it may seem from this photo. But it is a necessary one. I will fail, probably often. I will fail at choosing a new path sometimes. Other times I will choose a new path, only to find it leads to failure. But it will be a good thing because I will learn. I will grow.

I will probably always struggle with depression and anxiety. Yet management tools can help me choose different paths. They can help me find new roads. They can help me grow, despite my mental illness. And they can help you grow too.

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