As those who have followed my writing will know, I have a number of complex mental health issues as well as being an autistic addict in recovery.
I am coping with the fallout of those mental health issues more often than not. For this reason, I have had to develop a toolbox full of coping mechanisms to get by in the world.
Today I would like to talk about my two primary mechanisms, without which I would lose my wellbeing.
The first I have mentioned a few times, and that is communication. As I have said previously, my mantra is “open communication is the key to recovery”.
I do my very best to communicate my feelings, emotions, and mental state as often as possible. In particular, I am open and honest with my friends and loved ones, and with professionals working with me.
Without this open communication, it would be impossible to be supported in a way that is effective for me. The relationships we cultivate are important to our wellbeing, and open communication is vital to healthy relationships.
The second thing I do is something I call “Radical Kindness”. I call it “radical” because in the world we currently reside in, all acts of kindness are an act of radical opposition to the oppression we live in, especially when our own wellbeing is at stake.
Radical Kindness is simple. When you are feeling down, lonely, bored, empty. Whenever you need something more. You seek out opportunities to perform acts of altruism.
This can look like one off acts of kindness, or sustained endeavours.
For me it looks like volunteering at the local food bank, speaking to the homeless man being ignored on the street, donating a small amount of money to someone in need. The aim is to take the focus off of my own suffering by doing something good for another person.
Radical Kindness is the reason why I started my blog. Writing allows me to sustainably reach out and attempt to help others. My goal is to be the person that I needed 10 years ago.
These two coping mechanisms can look different for every person using them, but I strongly believe that they can help many people.
Next time you are struggling, communicate, and try helping another person. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the results.