This morning I woke up with bright eyes and a chipper attitude at 6:45 am. I am always grateful that this is a part of my life now. I laid there for a while to contemplate how I saw my morning playing out and whatever else I could think of. Once I let my mind wander just enough, I got up. I arrived in my living room where I opened my curtains even though it wasn’t quite light yet, opened my window despite it being below freezing outside, I threw on a pot of decaf and I sat down and start writing this.
You see I figured something out, I have to allow certain things. I have to accept that my mind is a racing mind. Hopefully it won’t be this way forever, but it is for now at least. So I save myself bits of time where I allow the racing to occur without judgment, like I described I did this morning. This does not come naturally, as I attempt to control my brain more than you may understand. So consistently practicing to give myself permission to let the control go, for even just a small moment, I believe will have a long term positive impact.
This is what I do, I practice. What you may ask? Well the thing is, you may be better off asking what I don’t practice. That is a huge part of where the shame comes from in mental illness for me I think. I always believe people see me as a person who isn’t trying hard enough, a person who is being lazy or unwilling to make change. I wish, well for one that I could stop obsessing over how people see me in the first place, but for two that if people could know one thing about people with mental illness, it would be that more often than not, we are likely putting in more mental work than you could even fathom.
People who struggle with a terrifying panic disorder, daunting C-PTSD, immovable depression, I mean the list goes on and on, although these people may be afraid to change because they’ve gotten to a point where they don’t know who they would even be if this part of them didn’t exist, they never wish upon these illnesses. They damn sure don’t want the illness to stick around just for the hell of it either.
I really wonder why so many people would rather believe that people who are already immensely struggling, are simply choosing this for themselves or doing things with the aim to only seek attention. I emphasized only there because sometimes people with mental illness can desire attention, but I would like to point out that this is no different than ANY OTHER HUMAN. I think people are unaware of that as well. Everyone desires attention, some more than others, some with different reasons than others, but by no means is attention seeking always a bad quality, nor is it only defined by people with mental illness.
I obsess over new ways to change my outlook, new ways to heal my trauma, new ways to handle my aggitations, new ways to create new habits, new coping mechanisms. I search for how and why the brain functions the way that it does in mental illness. I do this for mental illnesses I do not even experience myself, due to the sole probability that I will still learn something new. I research how to become more peaceful, how to become more open minded, I read endless self-help books for mental health, and then when I find all of the answers to all of these questions, I practice the shit out of them, and then, you guessed it, I find even more new ways to teach myself.
I am certain that this is also the case for so many dealing with mental illness. Now you can hopefully see why I said that if I could pass one bit of knowledge to someone who believes “that” person on Facebook speaking of their anxiety is just “using that as an excuse”, or “being attention seeking”, it would be what I mentioned above. Find empathy in your heart. Find understanding beyond what you understand. Trust me when I say that practicing this for yourself is not for the benefit of the people around you dealing with mental illness. As a matter of fact, they probably won’t outright know one way or another. I say that because most of the people’s negative views on others thankfully stay in their own head, but your outlook, your behavior, and your mind will begin to change. You will notice. At the end of the day, that is what we are all meant to do, we are meant to focus on our own ways to grow and then to ambitiously pursue them.
OKAY BYE! 🙂