“Breaking Expectations” is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s first hand experience with living with mental illness.
Here is my definition of a bad week:
- Car gets hit in the Brady Street Garage
- Do horrible on a test that I studied days for
- Forgot about a paper that was due and had to essentially bullshit my way through it
- Had an employee walk out on me at work, increasing an already crazy workload
Yes, we all have bad weeks. We throw ourselves pity parties (I know I do) and complain that we have it hard.
I’ll admit it: I have used my mental illness as an excuse for letting myself wallow for extended periods of time. I convince myself that I am allowed more time to recuperate because I can’t handle the stress.
So after I had walked out to my car Friday afternoon and saw it had been banged up, I was mentally done. All I wanted to do was go home, crawl in bed, and pull the covers over my head, but I had made a commitment to volunteer at the Boise Rescue Mission that night. I couldn’t flake.
Frustrated and ready to just turn around and go home, I arrived at the mission and was asked to just sit and observe. I was nervous to the point of anxiousness.
At 6 p.m., residents were let into the shelter, where they checked-in and were given a cup for soup and one for coffee. Many had been waiting for hours in the rain in order to secure a bed.
Wide smiles adorned most faces, happy to have a roof over their heads and a cup of soup to warm them up.
Many residents approached me and seemed genuinely happy to have someone to talk to, to smile back at them.
Some of these individuals have nothing: no family, no possessions, nothing. It wasn’t until I saw an older gentleman, walking around aimlessly with broken flip flops that I became emotional, realizing how lucky I am to have a pair or shoes, a jacket, a warm meal every night, things that I don’t even think about. Something I just expect to have.
After that, my problems seemed so pointless, so silly.
The next time you think you’re having a rough day, think about those who have nothing and be grateful for what you have.