By Matt, CMWN Intern

We are the best possible experts on ourselves.  Sometimes we want to go, sometimes we want to stay.  Each moment is not the previous, nor will it be the next.  Each moment is truly its own, no matter how closely it may remind us of others.  In this way, time teaches us about ourselves.  It is only human to be different.  It’s only natural to claim and hold ownership over our own thoughts and feelings.  While we can’t say for certain what makes us any different from the last person or the next, we can speak authoritatively about the individual spaces and times we each occupy.  We are the best possible experts on ourselves.  This is when it gets scary.

If I know I’m in distress and I already know I’m the most qualified person to address myself, then what hope can I possibly have for overcoming the problem?  The answer is to try.  It may not provide any immediate relief, and sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.  But taking that next step in pain and uncertainty is the surest way to take another.  Recovery is a journey that starts with the attempt.  Failure, fear, agony, and despair are natural poisons that remind us of where we were.

Don’t go back.  That’s usually how we got here to begin with.  Take each step forward with however much help it takes.  It’s only normal to be afraid.  It’s only normal to need help.

Now more than ever, we need to remember that today is not yesterday.  Hopefully it’s better, since that’s what we strive for.  But if tomorrow is any better than today, it will be because we step forward together.  In hope, in fear, in anxiety, and in reality – remember that our individual differences are the natural, living proof of our equality.  Remember that normal is forward.


Be Well.  Have Hope.  Pass It On.

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Amanda Kearney-Smith

I founded the Network as the Executive Director in 2011 and, before that, I was a program director at Mental Health Colorado. My educational background is in Developmental Psychology, but living with bipolar disorder has drawn me to this work. I'm most passionate about protecting the civil rights and dignity of others. In my free time, I love reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with my family here and in Illinois.

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