My Dragons Came Out to Play

I’ve been struggling.

This pandemic has been really hard on my mental health.

I feel bad because of it, as a mental health coach the guilt compounds.

I feel like I’m letting my clients down.

I’m letting my friends down.

I haven’t been showing up as my best self.

I told myself I wasn’t as healed, or recovered, or as strong as I thought I was.

But those were just stories.

I will say this, when this first happened, I was psyched.

I love the slower pace, not going out, stay at home.

But deep down that’s my anxious little inner child screaming for joy.

That doesn’t line up with who I am anymore.

I spent many moons moving away from that version of m.

That version of me caused me a lot of pain and heartache.

It drove me to the depths of alcoholism and drug addiction.

I almost didn’t make it out alive; I spent a week in jail, 5 days in the trauma unit of a hospital in North carolina from falling off a balcony.

Honestly I have no idea how many DUIs I got, it’s between 5 and 8… I legitimately lost track.

I was arrested between 15 and 20 times… I lost track there too.

So when this quarantine hit, my old self that I work so hard to overcome started screaming with joy.

It gave me all the stories:

“This is our dream, Sam.”

“We were made for this, friend.”

“This is your excuse to take your foot off the gas and stop doing so much heavy lifting.”

And the f*cked up thing is; I agreed with that old dragon of mine.

I let that fire breathing monster out of the cave to hang out for a bit.

Whelp, here I am 55 days, or whatever it’s been, into the quarantine and that dragon has gotten louder.

My routine slipped, then my workouts slipped, then I started eating like an 8-year old, then I started sleeping in. My ship was headed in the wrong direction, right into the eye of the storm. Just like The Andrea Gale heading off to the Grand Banks in The Perfect Storm.

The difference between me now and me prior to November 21st, 2012 is that I know how to right the ship.

The real kicker is I know how badly it sucks to HAVE to right the ship; and I still let myself go there.

That’s the power of mental illness; it will find anything, any way, any little crack in your armour and knife it’s way into you. My dragons don’t care about me; your dragons don’t care about you.

This pandemic and the quarantine that I was so psyched about at first… It caught up with me and it caught my attention. For those of us with mental illness, the battle is never over. It’s our job, our responsibility to be stronger than our dragons every single day. 

Honestly, it’s easy to keep those dragons locked away in their caves.

What’s not easy is putting them back there once you let them see the light of day.

I have gratitude for this quarantine; at first because it gave the rest I needed, and now because it made me level up and gave me a renewed level of fight to maintain my mental health.

That is my experience. My hope is that you take value from it and if you struggle with mental illness, do not go backwards, do not let those dragons out to play.

You’re stronger than they are.