Receiving the news that you have a mental illness is probably one of the most shocking bits of news that you will ever receive. We live in a society that does not openly welcome and support people who are living with and suffering from these illnesses but one that shames and ridicules people who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Often, people suffer in silence and are subject to comments that lack empathy and reflect the ignorant views of society who has no idea how serious mental illness really is.
As I write this latest blog entry I can proudly say that I am stable. I am most happy and grateful to be in this position. This was not always the case. It took a lot of work and self-reflection to get to this space of stability and contentment. As I sit here, I can now look back at some of my past behaviors and actions and say with some certainty that my illness made me toxic person.
I was a person who was somewhat irresponsible, angry, combative, controlling and all around a difficult person to be around. I was suffering, so it meant nothing for those around me to suffer as well. I did not understand what was happening inside of me and why these things were happening. The reason I felt like this was because I was living in constant fear. I was afraid to face myself, my illness and do something about. Admitting that I had an illness would be some sort of admission of weakness or inferiority. So, I lived this somewhat reckless existence that at times did not consider the way I was treating other people.
Actively pursuing a treatment plan and working with healthcare professionals that were right for me was one of the best gifts that I could have ever given myself. I had to go through the storm to get to the rain. I can say, although would not have believed it at the time the dr. diagnosed me, but my illness has been one of my greatest teachers.