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My Mental Illness

February 27, 2013

I don’t like people assuming about me, so I spend a lot of time explaining myself to people who didn’t ask for an explanation. At this time in my life I have not worked a secular job in over 6 years; because of a… problem I have had managing stress both external and internal. I work on the problem as often as I can, changing my methods as it becomes necessary. Incorrect or incomplete diagnoses made to help me made things worse for many years, until a time of complete upheaval in my life came and things got worse still to the point I could not work due to anxiety.

That anxiety about working is something I used to feel an enormous degree of shame about, magnified by my perception of gross unjust judgments by some of my family, peers, and fellow citizens. I do not feel that shame any longer because I have learned, with help, something that many humans take for granted; What you think of me, is not my problem, and if you need me to think it is my problem, I can now tell you about one of your problems. Simple yet it took me many years to learn, and I am still learning how to implement it into my life, so I’m not as we say, “better yet”.

The preceding paragraph is an over-simplification on the issues of my mental health, but I hope it paints a clearer picture of what I have been doing with my life since I stopped working in 2007. I paint this picture not because I need anything done about it, though encouragement from some friends and family has bolstered my abilities to mentally endure. No, I am writing this for me to be able to say to the world that it cannot and will not keep me down, I will succeed in mastering my fears and I will make any society I choose to be a part of better for my participation because I will have overcome the darkness within and learned to stand tall and face each new dawn with my fellow human beings.

So for now, living on Social Security and Supplemental Food Income (food stamps, on an EBT card) I spend my days learning about me, something I would have done no doubt during my childhood had I not been paralyzed by the terror of impending physical harm from my father. Finishing typing that felt like I just took three deep breaths, in fact I may have been holding my breath while I was typing; perhaps I still have work to do regarding that particular fear.

I understand that people with a simplified view of work, ethics or whatever may read this and have opinions about me and my methods of recovery, you might even think I need to “…get over it…”, and I say to you, fine… think that, say it to my face or behind my back even. I was one of those people, but for me “just” getting over something takes more effort than a deep breath and moving on. I do not know why yet, or if I ever will know anything about it beyond my obvious sensitivity to emotions.

My name is Woodwise, and I am recovering from mental illness.


From → About me, Philosophy

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