Personal health is extremely important. I've discussed physical health before, and I still recommend that everyone (especially writers) do whatever they can to remain physically healthy. But today I want to discuss mental health.
Several of my family members have suffered and still suffer from various forms of mental illness. These family members manage their illnesses with effective medication and/or professional counseling. And I am extremely proud of them for doing whatever it takes to make sure that they're not in any danger of hurting themselves or others.
As I mentioned on Wednesday, Monday was incredibly busy for me. On top of that, several major changes are happening in my life (not specifically to me, but friends and family). These changes are bad, in my opinion. People are getting hurt in one way or another (including my wife and myself), and that, combined with some other distressing news I received last week, piled up on my shoulders on Monday to send me into a genuine panic-attack.
In the past, I've struggled with anxiety (and in the future the possibility exists that I may need medication to manage an anxiety disorder), but I never knew why I grew anxious. Over the past several years, I've taken upon myself to examine the areas of my life that cause stress. Consistently re-examining my life, combined with a conscious choice not to let the stress control me, have helped prevent panic attacks in my life. In fact, I suffer less than one per year where I used to deal with at least three each year.
This isn't me trying to brag. My life is far from perfect. My point today is that life is hard, it can get overwhelming, and sometimes it's difficult to figure out how to make it through the hard times. Remaining self-aware will help all of us to manage our lives in a way the prevents us for going over the edge for "no reason." It also makes it easier to see if/when you need help.
And believe it or not, it could save your life!