Learning To Accept Your Own Mental Illness
Have no fear, I have not suddenly completely lost my own mind and now believe that I’m a clinical psychologist or anything. In recent talks with some pals and my own introspection I discovered that no matter how much you think someone else has it all together, they don’t. And often times (surprisingly enough) they think you’re the one who has it all together and you don’t. So just lately I’ve started a new journey, one that will allow me to understand my own mental issues. (Well, anyone who knows me knows that it won’t be so much a “journey” as it’ll be a trip around the block.) Learning to accept your own mental illness – Don’t Get Me Started!
You must forgive my usual over the top dramatics on using the words, “mental illness” as I most likely wouldn’t get a diagnosis from a licensed doctor that I’m mentally ill (I don’t think I would anyway). I guess what I’m talking about more than anything is the crap that we put ourselves through and understanding why we do it. And why we sometimes can’t seem to help ourselves in repeating patterns in our lives that we know are no good for us at all. I’ve always prided myself on not doing what I call, “playing the victim” if I screw something up in a relationship or my checking account I accept the responsibility for what I’ve done and try to fix it to the best of my ability. But lately when I listen to people talk there seems to have been a monster shift to everyone I know thinking that everything else and everyone else is the problem but them. “My spouse doesn’t understand me”, “my friends only want to talk about their problems”, etc., etc. The economy, the President, the congress, Kayne West, the pastor, everyone is responsible for something that’s making the person’s life miserable when the old cliché is true, only you can choose how you react to something. No one pointed a gun to your head, making you an actual victim, you’re choosing to allow the actions of others dictate your feelings and because you don’t want to accept responsibility, it’s easier to blame someone else. (Trust me, as hard as I try to not do it, I do this too.)
My mental illness is that in my mind everyone else’s life and time is more important than mine. So I go about my days and nights listening to people go on and on about their own lives and problems, fixing things that aren’t even my area to fix and after about a seven or eight week cycle of this I blow up wondering why no one has asked me how my day was or why no one is fixing anything for me. (Ouch, that sounds awful “victimy” doesn’t it?) I choose to not express my feelings in words but more in the most silent silence and death ray stares that emanate from my eyes to anyone within a six mile radius. And why you may ask do I think everyone’s life and time is more important than my own? I’d like to think the reason for this is because my family is like the Kennedys who seem to each have given of themselves in service to their fellow man but I know this is not the case, the reason is because I have a curse that has been handed down for generations in my family, the curse of needing to be liked by everyone above all else. I’ll admit that getting beaten up in grade school and being less than unpopular in high school has had a lot to do with it but when I look at my parents and how they give so much of themselves to their friends and family (at the cost of their own mental stability at times) I realize that the old cliché is so true, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
My mother has a huge medical book that allows you to peruse the different symptoms, diagnose your possible disease or ailment and then it gives you info on how to fix it. The how to fix it portion of each illness in the book reads, “What shall be done?” So when I look at what I’ve written in this blog I wonder “what shall be done” about my own mental illness? You see the problem is that growing up I used to hear, “if you admit you have a problem, that’s the first step.” But for me I always felt that admitting the problem is the only step I need to take. I’ve always been like, “Look at me, I know I’m fucked up emotionally. Isn’t it brave and wonderful of me to recognize it? What? Do something about it? Hell no, I just admitted it, isn’t that enough? Aren’t we done here?” But such is not the case, I get it. I have to learn to make better choices, tell people “no” and I’m sure a thousand other things. But having to fix myself is the least fun thing in the world to me. I know people who revel in it, reading every self-help book that comes along but for me there’s a real part of me that thinks, “Well, I’m sorta fucked up but I’m not killing anyone or hurting anyone else so since I’m used to all these demons (and all their friends that they’ve attracted over the years), why not just buy a larger imaginary backpack and continue to lug them all around with me wherever I go?” Because it’s not healthy, right?
And so I will hit the “reset” button on myself, trying to begin a new outlook, change some of my behaviors, “work on myself” and for your sake as well as mine, let’s just hope I’m not writing this same blog again seven weeks from now, right? The other thing I’ll try to do is be more tolerant of other people’s mental illness too. After all, that’s what friends are for, right? Learning to accept your own mental illness – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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