Thursday, April 7, 2016
Tomato, TomAHto, Potato....
"I'm not broken", "I'm broken", "I'm a survivor", "I'm a victim", "I have BiPolar Disorder", "I am BiPolar". There are so many different ways that those living with mental illness or trauma can define themselves. But, wait! We aren't defined by our mental illness. Or are we? We all have our own way of standing in our "truth". We all have a comfort zone as to how far we will go to let others know just how "mentally ill" we are. Here's the thing, our mental illness is a part of who we are, whether we like it or not. We aren't defined by that alone, but it is a part of us that can't be pushed to the side.
Do I have a mental illness? Yes. Am I mentally ill? Yes. Why is one more, or less, than the other? I'll admit, I'm broken in different ways, but then again, I think everyone is. I'm a survivor, but I'm also a victim of those that have traumatically hurt me. How I choose to live with my mental illness is MY choice. How I choose to define myself is also MY choice.
The greatest difference between those LIVING with mental illness and those STRUGGLING with mental illness is that those living with it, can be honest. Honest with themselves.
No matter what, we have to take accountability for our choices, even if we have an excuse as to why we made them. Having a mental disorder does not negate the hurt that you may cause to those around you. It doesn't mean you can "get away with" whatever it is you are doing to hurt them. It just means YOU have someplace to start in order to get to the place in your life that brings you whatever happiness you may be striving for.
Quit defending yourself for what you've done. Quit explaining why you define yourself the way you do. Just be. Living in the past is easy. REAL courage comes when you face the future. How you do that, is up to YOU. Just remember if you continue to repeat the same process that hurt you or anyone else before, you're not really facing what's up ahead. You're accepting that you don't want to move forward at all. Does that mean, you are broken? Probably. However, you have the ability to put all those pieces back together again.
Posted by Sivaquoi Laughlin
Born and raised in beautiful southern Idaho. Divorced with two gorgeous daughters. Currently living in Boise's historic North End where I write, hike with my 3 dogs and spend countless hours enjoying all that this amazing city has to offer.
Presently surrounded by research, pencils, notebooks and my trusty laptop working on a narrative non-fiction novel, short stories and the occasional freelance grant. When not writing, I try to keep up and savvy on social media, posting to my blog www.behindhersmile.com and spending time with family and friends.