How many times have I heard “But you’re too young”?Tweet
Looking back on my mental-health journey, I can do so with the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve tried my best. Working to tackle my mental illnesses has not been easy. Yet despite this, there are those who believe that I will make a full recovery. Not only will I beat this, they see me back at work. Perhaps the most famous tagline I hear is “but you’re too young.” Meaning I have many more years to be a productive citizen.
It’s certainly true that in my past, I was quite proud of the fact that I was a “worker.” Indeed, I could handle tons of “busy” on my plate. I loved keeping myself busy and if I had my way today, I would still be running constantly. Ahhh…to have the energy to go and go and go.
But if I were being realistic, I know my battle with mental illness has lasted well over a decade. In that time, I have literally gone to war, doing whatever it takes to kick mental illness’s asses.
This battle, is of course far from over; however, I am starting to lose faith that I will ever return to the person I once was. Perhaps the most important question here is: who was I as a person when I had bountiful amounts of energy? Was it a natural inclination towards wanting to be busy, or was I trying to run from a burden that was much stronger and faster than I?
Truthfully, I have the luxury of looking back, and therefore I feel like, well, I wasn’t formally diagnosed for much of my battle; I was indeed running from myself. It’s interesting because I was oblivious to it for so many years.
Although one cannot change the past, it is still influential in the way we conduct ourselves now and into our future life choices. In my case, my propensity to be going full tilt has most likely lowered my tolerances for not only the world around me, but my ability to navigate through it with sufficient energy to be “successful” in a traditional sense. Thus, my choices I made in my younger years have impacted the course of my future.
So, when people say “but you’re too young,” I gently remind them that being disabled, either mentally or physically, knows no age limit. Trust me, I’ve tried to just “get over it” but it turns out that, factually, PTSD doesn’t work that way.The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.
While it was yet to be determined whether I shall be permanently disabled or somehow negotiate a truce with my mental health conditions, I am actively seeking ways that allow me to once again take on the world with strength and vigor. I must nonetheless prepare for the very real possibility that I will have to customize how I move forward.
Want to hear others talk about their wellness journey? Go to The Depression Files.
If I were a betting man, I would bet that many of you are staring at the same crossroads in your lives. My advice? The life you were accustomed to is disappearing in the mirror of time. You can in fact, be productive and find meaning in your life. Sure, it may not be at full-throttle but from my point of view, fulfilling passion is very obtainable. Just don’t let them push you back to where you know you can’t go. Don’t let that saying “but you’re too young” set you up for failure by pushing you back into a world that you know you can’t handle.
Remember, you and you alone have a choice of where you put your energy. Moreover, you are the only one who knows how much energy you have to give. If you know moving forward looks different from the conventional norm, advocate for yourself – you know yourself better than anyone. You’re ready for this change in life, and be sure that you fight for it.
Check out the book I helped to write:
Lemonade Stand: Vol. III
Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military. In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness. So, if you are from the military or emergency services, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.
Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all who served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!
If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada
Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness
Categories: Mental Health