It took me years to admit I had a problem. And after admitting something was wrong (to myself, not to anyone else), it still took me a long time to attempt to correct it. The way my mind operated under stress was to bottle itself up and attempt to push all levels of stress down into the pit of my stomach. The issue with this was the overwhelming strength of my own mind. It is interesting in hindsight to contemplate the power of a human mind, because mine was more powerful than any part of my body. I was never prone to using mine (at least academically) through elementary to secondary school days, achieving a whopping 62% average. This was until of course it became a force of madness later in my teens. This, unfortunately, wasn’t in any useful way. My mind was in a constant battle with itself. Let me try to explain.
I have seen many doctors, and many put depression and anxiety into the same envelope. This may be true, because when you are anxious you feel you can’t function in society and thus people perceive you as depressed. Throughout the beginning of my struggle I was diagnosed with these two labels, not because it was accurate, but because I limited communication skills, and thus to the outside world I was lazy, uninterested, and unproductive. Because of the anxiety referenced previously I was unable to communicate with the doctor to tell him any different. This created many diagnosis throughout my life, basically I had a new one for every new thing I decided to tell him/her. I have been depressed, bi-polar, suffered from personality disorder, and had schizophrenia. I don’t know what I have, and I don’t believe there is simply one label that can accurately describe all of my issues. The only thing I know for sure is I wasted a lot of time and brain cells by postponing what I believe to be the biggest single step in mental recovery, honesty.
Some people can simply hear this and turn their life around. Others require a life changing event to rotate their current trajectory. I don’t know if either of these things would have worked for me. When I was in my darkest point I can guarantee you that anyone telling me to be honest with myself could screw off. I would have been unresponsive to a life changing event because of the mass amounts of opiates that I had in my system. For some, time is their greatest partner. It is a luxury that some of us have, and I now have after multiple blood transfusions. Some hit the bottom and then decide they can go a little further.
What I am trying to tell you is that being honest with yourself is the best tool you can use to start your learning process. This “word” could be replaced by many others; understanding, acceptance, and power to name a few. In essence I believe they are all mirrors to the first and greatest step. You need to admit you have an issue, go ahead and do it. If you don’t have any issues, then stop reading now. You must be one of the only perfect people in this world, and to be honest I am jealous of you, congratulations for winning the gene award. Now for others, how did that feel? I sure hope it was a good feeling, and at the very least maybe you simply feel the same. Maybe you already know you have an issue, and maybe you’re sitting here waiting to get to the good stuff, well, that’s as good as the first step gets.
If I would have known the first step sooner, I could have been correctly diagnosed. If I would have admitted I had a problem I wouldn’t have decided to become a Oxycontin addict who disgraced everything about himself and his family. This would have led me to not attempt taking my own life, a few times, with one in particular that leaves a rather large scar of my arm. All of these things could have been prevented. I could be a doctor or a lawyer right now. I could have sped up my academic career immensely and I could have become something great by now. Here’s the most important thing I could say, and I stress this more than anything else. It is never to late to change yourself for the better. I changed my life when I was 23. You can all scoff now and claim I am to young to understand hardships, and you would be wrong. I can tell you right now, I went through hell. I want everyone to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Lets get the discussion going so that everyone can state their problems, hell, be proud of them! There are billions of people in this would who are so much alike its crazy. It is up to us people with minds slightly different to give this world significance!
Let’s start by being honest, and then let’s kick some butt.