Standing Still: Taking a Break to Let Go of My Mental Illness Comfort Zone
Updated: Jul 12
Contributed by Daniela Galdi, Founder of Still Standing Together
It's not always easy, but you never stop trying.
This quote sits on my desk and reminds me that some days are rough, others are good, but I want more good through the bad so I will always continue to work on bringing peace into my mind and stop succumbing to living in a comfort zone of my mental illnesses or self-sabotaging mindsets. Then, for weeks, I found myself in one of the deepest depressive moments of my life -- a place I promised myself I'd never allow myself to get to again.
There I was and here I am, recovering from patterns in my mind that have held me back from simply living. I wanted to go away, I knew I needed to hide and fix myself with no distractions, but what I didn't realize is that I was not tapping into the resources, people, and connections I already had at my fingertips. I had stopped everything. Stripped myself of any thing that could and would help me and I relied solely on the powerful crutch of comfort in my mental illnesses.
As I write this, I'm listening to one of my favorite songs, Feel Again, by OneRepublic. The lyrics "I'm feeling better ever since you've known me. I was a lonely soul, but that's the old me. I can feel again." And, I can. I can feel again. I feel the fear, I feel the sadness, but I can feel the joy now and while I'm taking my time to not rush out of what I am focused on addressing, I do acknowledge that these things I've addressed can be helpful to you and I will share them briefly below.
Trying to fix every emotion and new habit at once will be overwhelming. What you'll
find from pacing yourself is peace of mind, clarity for decision-making on what's best for
YOU, and acknowledging and really deeply appreciating your progress along the way.
You'll wow yourself. I can promise you that.
Quit Judging Yourself.
Every time you ignore what your body is telling you, it is so easy to slip into judging
ourselves. My favorite example of this is those days when all I really want to do is take a
nap or binge watch shows that interest me. I am the first to judge myself. I have to
remind myself that I am the master of my days, choices, and life. The judgment leads to
resistance, which can lead to triggers of habits and thinking patterns you are trying to
break. It's not easy at first to stop these judging thoughts, but remember, keep trying.
You will eventual build a new normal mindset and not judging yourself will come
naturally and feel really, really good! Please, stop being so hard on yourself.
Live in Simple Pleasures.
Yes, this is where I tell you to continue to work on being in the moment, but I will also
tell you that I am actually really good at living in the moment. What I am not good at
(yet) is LIVING in the moment. I can focus my attention at what is occurring
around me, I am very aware and observant, but my mind was actually withholding lots of
joy, peace, and satisfaction in my daily tasks. Not only have I realized that I have been
feeling that I am not good enough or special, I have also convinced myself that taking
time to do things I enjoy for simple pleasure did not hold value either. I listed to quit
judging yourself before mentioning this one because judgments and shoulds flow so
quickly here for someone, like myself, who feeds into fears of the future and falsities of
inadequacies. Give the things you are doing -- daily tasks, hobbies, phone calls -- value
to you because they are simply things that you WANT to be doing.
For me, "keep trying" right now means taking a step back. Today, on our social media pages, I shared that I will be taking a break for a few weeks to pace myself and continue to work on recovering from how I've trained my mind to limit me from enjoying life as it is right now. I want to make sure I share that message here with you, as well...
How do I need to show up to people?
I found myself asking this after weeks of falling into a deep depression, one that I was in denial about and that those close to me needed to take action against my wishes to help me realize that I could not further isolate and do this on my own. My ways were getting in my way of enjoying life. True feelings of joy. Long-lasting joy.
So, how do I need to show up for all of you who I love with my everything and want to see you progress and succeed in overcoming your struggles, mental illness, self-doubts, fears? I need to give myself more time to work on my own self-discovery — no distractions, no jumping to next projects without fully processing — and that means taking time for myself to get things on track, and recognizing that I am still in recovery even though after just a few weeks, I feel better. I don’t want to define myself by my depression. I need to break the crutch. There’s more to work on to make permanent change and get out of my comfort zone of depression. It’s all that’s become normal to me, and as we all know, now is a time for creating change and new normals.
It’s hard to admit, but I need a break and will be taking a few weeks off of creating and sharing through Still Standing Together but please know, while I am “standing still” I always stand with you and there are others who do, too. You are not alone as much as your mind makes you believe you are.
What makes me most excited is that when I feel emotionally stronger, I’ll be working on updates for SST to provide more effective community action upon our return. In the meantime, please take this suggestion — CALL ON PEOPLE TO HELP YOU.
I am surrounded by a team of people who just keep saving me... and so are you. No matter how much you want to drown in your problems, illnesses, sorrows or how much you want to isolate yourself bc you feel you are a burden, you are not. You are loved, especially by me. Whether we have met or not, you are loved by me.
Thanks for your understanding, SST family.
As the next song plays... hold on to me, I'm a little unsteady... I think of those who have saved my life over and over again. The amount of appreciation I have for them is overwhelming. But, as I allow myself to go through this deeper process, I still feel the unsteadiness of my energy and my mind, what some might call a shift, but the promise to myself is steady -- the same promise I ask you to make for yourselves -- do not give up on yourself. Keep trying.
Daniela Galdi, a Media Personality, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, is the founder of Still Standing Together, an empowerment community supporting individuals through their struggles and challenging circumstances in order to help one another move forward with hope and happiness during these times.
Daniela’s own struggle with anxiety and depression led her to spreading awareness on mental health therapies and solutions. Her mission through Still Standing Together is to connect people and get them talking to one another by sharing messages of others who have overcome obstacles and how they rise above them everyday.
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