When I reached the one-year mark of my suicide attempt, I called two friends over to my apartment just to drink champagne and sit on the couch for a chill celebration of the fact that I'd made it that far.
If you live with a mental health issue, you know there are good days and bad days. And you know that milestones are worth celebrating. It's not just the big milestones — it's the everyday victories, like actually getting out of bed or taking your medication.
Whether you're celebrating a week or a month of sobriety, getting through the day without a panic attack, or even asking for help for the first time, it's important to acknowledge the progress you've made. After all, recovering from a mental illness has its ups and downs, and celebrating small victories can help you stay motivated.
Ahead, six people share the mental health victories they've celebrated.
"Since I was a child, I've struggled with OCD and panic attacks. A few weeks ago, I felt my 'warning signs' coming on that I needed to get help. So, I called my therapist and have started going back to weekly sessions. I'm proud of myself for being proactive and taking control of the situation." — MJ, 28
"I have been addicted to self-harm since I was six years old. It began as a way to make myself feel 'in control' of my emotions and my body. It later grew into something that I would do as a form of punishment. Whether or not I scored lower on a test than I should have, I got in a fight with my boyfriend or family, I said something I thought was stupid, I didn't make enough money to pay for school, etc.
I've been clean for almost an entire year. Yesterday I was informed I did not get a job I had applied to and worked really hard on. This hurt a lot, and I struggled a lot. But I did not self-harm. Instead I took my dogs on a walk and convinced myself it was going to be okay. It wasn't an easy thing to do, or rather not to do. But I am very proud of myself. And I feel so fortunate and thankful to have the support system I do. I'm currently working on my masters in public health, so that I can't provide similar support to those in need. " — Sarah, 22
"'Graduated' from therapy." — Sylvie, 27
"No panic attacks or debilitating depression days (when I can't leave my house) for over a year." — Emily, 28
"Finally got an ADHD diagnosis/medication after 6+ years of saying I’m not anxious." — Gretchen, 21
"It has been FIVE years (!!) of not fully mapping out a suicidal plan. This is huge for me (it was a regular thing). Though it's only been three days without a suicidal thought, the fact that I am simply no longer thinking about suicide on a default basis is a huge victory." — Luciana, 39