When a person lives with addiction and they get clean they call that sobriety, typically those terms are most commonly reserved for people who have used drugs or alcohol. But what about someone’s mental health? Could the same terms apply as well?
If you have ever lived with depression, people often say they felt like they were in a dark tunnel, and it was hard to see any light that would indicate some form of hope or safety. If you are fortunate enough to find your way out of that darkness you know what a great feeling it is to be back to being happy again, back to being productive and possibly enjoying interacting with other people again.
Once you have repaired your mental health to a level that you are happy with, you will soon realize that after that “honeymoon” period of feeling back to “normal”, you will need to change your ways or your habits so that you don’t slip back into the depression you fought so hard to get out of. For addicts it’s the same thing, treatment centers teach addicts tools and tricks they can use to keep themselves sober and to help prevent them from going back to a lifestyle of using again. Mental health is no different.
Learning about your mental health and identifying things that may trigger your depression is the first step, next you will need to develop tools that can help you navigate around those triggers should a situation arise that can harm your positive mental health fitness. Now each person is different, things that help you stay healthy and happy may not work for the next person, this is why it is important to take time and reflect on the things that make you angry or upset, and discover what you did to overcome those feelings.
It’s what I call maintaining your mental health sobriety. It’s just as important to take care of your mental well-being as it is to take care of your physical well-being. The two truly go hand in hand. If your leg is broken you go to the doctor and get it fixed so you can get back to “normal” and you more than likely learned a lesson of what not to do to avoid re-breaking that leg again. You need to do the same for your mental health, if needed, get some help, get it fixed, and get back to living your life, but remember how you got there and learn ways to prevent from going back there. Your life has value, your life is important, so make sure you do what you need to do to stay mentally sober.