a woman is engulfed in flames but stares determinedly forward and not wavering

Let Yourself Off the Hook

When thinking about heart failure, we know what we have to do to stay healthy. We know our meds, what foods to avoid, how much we should be exercising, our doctors' phone numbers, how much sleep we need, and many other factors that play into our health. But do we know what makes us happy, how to get away from all of that for a little bit, to make sure we are okay and not obsessing with it all?

Extra support to help

Mental health is something that is being talked about more and more each day. It is no secret that when you have to deal with a chronic illness it can take a toll on your mental health. It is so important that we know how to ask for help for our mental health. I have been blessed with such a strong support system and some days it can still feel overwhelming.

Having a heart transplant at age 8 definitely has affected my mental health. One thing that I have always been very open about is seeing a therapist. When you have all these feelings swirling around in your head while dealing with very serious medical concerns, it is just extra support to help.

You have come too far

Over the years I have had to deal with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. This is something I never feel ashamed of and neither should you. Having to deal with all the trauma we have had to deal with, it is natural to have some baggage that comes along with all of it. What is important to me is that we know how to manage these feelings. Don’t let them take over. Know you have come too far to let it take control of your life.

Letting myself off the hook

I often find that I hold myself to such a high standard. I get stressed and anxious about not being able to keep up with what is “normal”. In my case, some examples would be not graduating college in four years, being 25 and still living home, and relying on my parents for things I feel I should have mastered on my own by now.

What I am now learning is to “let myself off the hook”. This is something that can be so vital for your mental health. Take a step back, don’t look at the things you feel like you are failing in but rather look how far you have come. For me, I can say I graduated college with honors, have a great job, and I know how to advocate for myself in many different ways thanks to my struggles with heart failure.

I am making progress every day to become a better me. Remind yourself you have been through a lot and you are on nobody’s timeline but your own. Once you start to do these things hopefully you can feel relief in it all just as I have.

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