Over the last, let’s say five years, I have been on a quest to find what makes my mental illness tick. Not in its generalities, its typical presentation of symptoms that any given disorder produces, but rather, my mission has been an almost completely internal one.
There is so much known about mental health conditions, all available at our fingertips. However, I offer a word of caution, one should vet their research before believing it and certainly before one commits it to a blog or a book. So much of this work has helped so many to understand the neurological shit show that attempts to rob them of their authenticity. Being a lover of science and research, this is where I first started to look for answers.
Click here interiorhealth.ca for a list of mental health resources.
Although I’ve benefited tremendously from all the learning I have done, it does little to help you get to know you as a person. I happen to believe that this is fundamental if one is going to push through the more difficult moments. I have confronted some serious questions about my weakness and, trust me, it was no easy task. Nonetheless, it was essential. Now that I am better educated on the deeply denied issues that, like it or not, impacted every facet of my life, I can better identify their impact on those around me and help reduce any self-inflicted pain.
With that said, I feel like even getting to know yourself isn’t enough; one also must get to know their mental illness on a more intimate level. After all, it is said that one should keep their friends close but keep their enemies even closer. Lots of work to do under the hood, but its all in an attempt to make things run as smooth as possible, and, it’s defiantly worth the trouble. To me, having a mental illness is like owning a large V8 hummer, or at least that’s how I can best describe it for myself.
So, what the heck do I mean when I compare myself to a V8 hummer? Well, we both expend energy. Like all things, some go through their fuel faster (burn up their energy source) than others. I, like a V8 engine, can’t go as far on a single tank then let’s say, a four-cylinder car.
Four-cylinder vehicles are the majority of vehicles on the road today, very fuel-efficient; because of this, they can go further on a single tank of gas. I think of those who are mentally well like they are a 4clinder, much more common and can go the distance and easily take on the world around them. Us Hummers – the mentally ill, cannot, or at least I am not able to. A day in the world of busy burns up my fuel and sends me walking to retreat.
From my perspective, the world we are living in wasn’t designed for those with a mental disorder. It’s sooo loud, so busy and way too crowded. PTSD hates all these things and makes the world a battlefield. Being overstimulated is misery. Having to mentally muscle my way through a barrage of busy, multi-level noise and chaos has been a hellish experience. But the world dictates that we are broken if we can not go the distance, so like you, I sloughed forward, full steam ahead.
So, when I merge what I have learned about who I am as a person and how my mental health conditions impact my every day, it has freed me in a sense as I now know that my mental energy is expended in half the time as a healthy person would experience. You know what? I’m ok with that.
Tell me, what’s under your mental health hood? The equivalent of a four-cylinder engine or are you a V8 Hummer? If you’re uncertain, maybe its time you explore who you are and what your mind and body can tolerate. Get to know thy mental illness enemy too. It may very well teach you when you’re getting close to your mental E. Stop, rest and refuel.
See here on Ways to recharge.
You may also enjoy: Slowly Walking My Way To Mental Wellness.
Check out my friend’s blog here: anewdawnaa.com