Life is a lot like swimming in the ocean. Life with mental illness adds extra weight to your limbs. Swimming constantly is tiring. There are days when swimming feels easy, fun even. Feeling the breath in your lungs, the temperature of the water across your body, and the sight of the horizon makes you feel alive. Maybe even hopeful.
But there are days when your lungs burn. The water chills your bones, and the sight of the horizon makes you wonder when you’ll ever get there. How much longer are you expected to swim?
At some point, you don’t. Instead, you drift. You don’t care where you end up, you’re just tired. Perhaps you close your eyes. Perhaps you turn off your brain and let the waves bob, taking you with them.
No matter how you do it, you should do it. No one can swim forever without stopping. There will be moments when all you can do is rest and drift. You might feel guilty for stopping. You might compare how much of a break you need to others.
Once the water doesn’t bother, and you’ve regained your strength, carry on. Keep going for as long as you possibly can. You can’t go anywhere if you don’t keep moving. When the ocean feels empty and you wonder if anyone would care if you drowned, keep going. You’ve made it this far. Don’t stop now.