Bad news everyone: as you can tell from my face...

Bad news everyone: as you can tell from my face, every pet, grandmother & best friend just died. Christmas was cancelled, as was your birthday. Dairy Queen is going out of business & Nutella has been discontinued.

Also, I'm a little dramatic.

I'm making this face because my laptop won't turn on & I don't know why.

Fortunately, after talking to Sam, I remembered that I can handle things like this. But I feel grateful to have gotten this picture first.

Why? Because there were years where I couldn't handle things like this. When you struggle with mental health conditions, any minor setback can be enough to push you into a downward spiral. And downward spirals are dangerous.

For people struggling with addiction, a downward spiral could lead to a bender, which could lead to the grave.

For people struggling with eating disorders, a downward spiral could lead to acting out, which could lead to the grave.

For people struggling with depression, a downward spiral could lead to an episode, which could lead to the grave.

You get the picture.

Today, I'm grateful that I can make jokes about my initial reaction to my laptop not working. Because today I have mental health resilience. I don't (often) plunge into downward spirals over minor setbacks.

But the same can't be said for people who are still in the thick of it. So please, please, please: if you know someone who is struggling, EVEN IF THEY SEEM OKAY TODAY, don't give them a hard time if they make a face like this in response to something minor. The setback might be minor, but what it's triggering for them isn't.

If you are someone who is struggling, please, please, please learn what works to pull yourself out of a downward spiral. Put off cleaning the house and cuddle up with a book. Treat yourself to a massage. Take a mental health day. Do what you need to do.

Just be kind. To yourself. To other people. To everyone.

And don't worry, I just got the notification: Nutella's back on the market. Downward spiral averted.

Originally published on Facebook & Instagram on November 3, 2017.

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