I hear a lot of advice from people about how the key to health is to stay positive and count your blessings. You can choose to be sad or choose to be happy. You can choose to dwell on your pain or choose to focus on your abilities. Maybe, but walk in my shoes and then I’ll check back in and see how that’s working out for you. I hate all those clichés indicating that the answer to mental and physical illness can be found within something as simple as a shift in thinking. Lies.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but guess what? I didn’t choose to be mentally ill. Nor did I choose to be chronically ill. I can say all the daily affirmations and write down everything I have to be grateful for, and I am still sad, scared and in pain. Truth.
There is a battle going on in my head and in my body. Although some people can relate, no one can truly understand. I can only compare it to having some not so nice uninvited company living in my brain and body. Let me introduce them to you: Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Eating Disorder, Self Injury, Addiction, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. Every day, every night, and every minute, I am battling them. My job is to figure out who is telling the truth, who is lying, who is trying to help me and who is trying to trick me. It’s a tiresome job. Especially when it comes to relationships, having a social life and some semblance of independence.
For the most part, my mental illnesses fill me with all the negative feelings you can think of: guilt, self-doubt, sadness, loneliness, inadequacy, shame, weakness, worthlessness, fear, anger… You get the idea. But those thoughts are lies. It doesn’t help that there are so many people out there that just don’t get it. They seem to be lacking basic friendship skills, empathy and kindness. I have lost friends because of this, lost friends because I am sick. And that has been so very painful and confusing. Kindness seems so simple.
With so much constant babbling and arguing going on, it’s no wonder I’m tired. I have had my mental illnesses for years so I thought I had a pretty good handle on them. Everything came crashing back down on me when I was diagnosed with the physical illnesses. I keep reminding myself that I am stronger than all of those diagnoses. If I wasn’t, I would have been gone long ago. I try to remember that at some time in my life, they saved me, so I thank them. I also thank my immune system for being so strong. I will always have this rowdy group of occupants so it’s best we just sit down and get to know each other and come up with some mutual agreements. We agree that I am thankful for them. We agree that they serve a purpose. We agree that I have the right to tell them to shut-up. We agree that if they push their way through, that we will start all over and do it again. We agree that I will survive. That is my truth.
~till I collapse~