Should I consider myself suffering, or, should I consider myself a survivor?
I’ve been battling mental illness since I was 11 years old. I’m 25. So 14 years, and my symptoms have intensified as I aged. However, I still RECOVER!
It’s during the episodes of depression, or the aftermath of mania that I feel victimized to a unstable brain. However, when I’m stable it’s when I realize I’m a survivor.
I’m 25 and a junior in college, I told my therapist basically, that I’m a loser; because my friends are traveling the world, I’m not; my friends are getting married having families, I’m not. So then I tell myself “I must be less THAN them”
It’s when I doubt my journey, and the recoveries I’ve made, the clinical progress I’ve made; that I subject myself to suffering. Truth is, I recover a lot faster than I did during my teens. My hospitalizations are fewer, and I’ve established more community relationships and friendships than before. So, no, I’m not suffering. I’m LIVING!
We have to give credit where it’s due.
I have a 14 year old cousin who I consider a little brother, and I’ve helped raised him. Going to school events, basketball games and more; cooking adventures, museum trips and more.. I did that while I was sick and well. I poured into another human beings life, and thought outside myself. I put another person first, while I was sick and while I was well. I’m a survivor! I’m a mentor, I am a friend.
Sometimes when depressed, I write my best blogs and now have readers from all over the world.
I think of AA and NA meetings, where you introduce yourself stating, “Hi, I’m Domenia and a cutter or addicts (whatever it may be) and then I wonder when will I stop subjecting myself to my past, and create a new identity. I don’t believe once a addict always and addict. Once a cutter always a cutter. I think once you put down that needle, drink or scissors, you’re more than your addiction. You’re a child of God and a survivor. We struggle, urges are there, but when you think of yourself as apart of a deity, a child of a God, and a part of something bigger than yourself, you then realize you’re more than your addiction, more than a mental or physical illness and more than your mistakes.
Once you accept the love from God/Universe/Allah (who ever you believe in) you have accepted the calling that your “higher power” has bestowed upon you.
I’m apart of many groups on facebook, filled with people who vent, and are ever so quick to accept there illness to the extent that they forget the other ingredients to their personality and identity.
I’m a writer (with poor grammar 🙂 ) I’m a mentor, I’m a student, I’m a friend to someone, a mother or father, I’m a artist, I’m a singer…We need to find the good gifts that were given to us and enhance them, so that they consume us positively and we live out our “true potential”
Yes, I have a bipolar disorder and psychosis and ADD. Yes! I’m not going to lie to myself. Yes, I struggle. Yes, sometimes I need to admitted to the hospital. Yes, I need medication to stay leveled. But this is 25% of me, maybe less. I’m 75% more! And this is what we need to remind ourselves. It takes practice but with every down there is an up, we just need to realize it.
We can do it!
I judged myself for not being done with college, and finding a stable job. However, I didn’t realize that I’m still in college, I haven’t quit. I still have friendships, so with every depressive thought I fight that illusion with truth. Jill Griffin, says “feelings are not facts” and that’s like a holy scripture in my world. What I feel isn’t always true.
Some of us are afraid of being free, afraid of stability, and are complacent and we complain. Most of us thinks that the solution to our mental illness will be in a pill. However, it’s not always true. Pills help, but there is work we must do; there is a degree of self actualization that needs to be discover.
My grandma always told me, from the day you’re born, and the day you die, aren’t the most important two dates, it’s what you did in between the start of your life, and the end of your life that speaks volumes.
If I don’t graduate until I’m 30, then at least I graduated. If I don’t get married or have kids, it’s ok! If I don’t have kids, it’s okay. Because I have a little brother who needs my support, and I’ll be there. There are other kids I can mentor. There are many ways you can give back to life, without a fancy degree, and title, because even those are not free. Lets, think outside of our capitalist society, think outside this political dogma, think outside your perceived limitations.
And Live, your truth!
Hi, I’m Domenia Dickey, and I have bipolar disorder and psychosis. However, I am not bipolar!