It’s Been a Hard’s Day Night…

It’s been a busy week and an emotional few days. I’m tired and more than a little worn out. The house is in a minor state of chaos, nothing a couple of hours of good tidying up wouldn’t cure, but right now I’m feeling a bit lethargic. I didn’t really feel like blogging but I wanted to share something that happened to me this week.

I’ve been chatting with new people on Facebook, trying to expand my social circle and break out of my shell. I’m very open about my MHIs and the fact that I take meds. I was telling one of my local friends, who is also a neighbour, about chatting with new people and that I end the conversations earlier in the evening because I have to take my meds, which make me sleepy, groggy and not the best conversationalist. My friend was aghast.

“Holly,” she said, “You shouldn’t be telling people about your health problems or that you take medications. People won’t know how to deal with you and you might scare them off.”

Well, shut my mouth and colour me surprised.

I responded with something to the effect of “if they’re scared of my diagnoses then they’re too weak to be my friends anyway.” Not the most diplomatic answer, but it expressed exactly how I felt at the time.

I guess there are a few ways of looking at my friend’s comment. 1. She’s trying to protect me from divulging what she perceives as very personal information that should be shared with a select group of people or 2. She’s uncomfortable with my frankness about my health because she believes that health issues are very private matters or 3. She’s uncomfortable with mental illness and doesn’t think I should be talking about it openly because it should be a private matter.

Any which way I look at it, it still comes across to me as “hide who you are”. I’ve never been very good at hiding. I don’t fit very well in nooks or crannies or cubby holes. I often say “don’t put me in a box, I’m claustrophobic”. Hiding who I am evokes feelings of guilt and shame. I feel as thought I’m not good enough and I begin to feel unworthy and very negative about myself. Whenever I start feeling bad about being who I am or feeling like I should conform in order to make other people comfortable, I remember this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

 

This is how I feel about mental illness - it doesn't define me, but it's part of who I am and I shouldn't have to pretend otherwise.

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About Holly

I hope you're able to glean something from this blog, a nugget of wisdom, a new perspective, a smile or even a laugh. I enjoy getting feedback so please comment, share your story with me too. After all, we're here to help each other.
This entry was posted in ADHD, anxiety, depression, GAD, OCD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to It’s Been a Hard’s Day Night…

  1. Jacki Welch says:

    Wonderful blog. You should never be ashamed or hide who you are. I believe any mental illness should be talked about so that people understand what it is. I am the first one to talk about Syd’s mental health issues and I don’t care what people may think. The world needs to understand what people with Mental Health issues go through daily. Keep up the blogs. Love them. Also keep being yourself. You are a beautiful person.

  2. Holly says:

    Jacki, you just made my night! Thank you so much for your continued support. I’m always thrilled to read the positive updates about Syd, you are an amazingly supportive mother and friend. Thanks so much!

  3. This BS of hiding mental health issues has to stop. I’ve taken anti-depressents for years because of anxiety issues and have just recently been diagnosed with adult ADHD (yes, ADHD is considered a mental illness because it is resident in the brain — it’s how your brain is formed). My six-year-old son has mental health issues — ADHD, ODD, and anxiety — and I’m very vocal about it. Mental health issues in children tend to manifest in unacceptable behaviour, so there’s no point trying to hide it. Will I be as vocal as he gets older? I’m not sure. I may leave that up to him. But right now I’m not going to hide it any more than I would hide it if he had diabetes.

  4. Holly says:

    Laura, I get it believe me. I get both the mental issues and the need to vent. Thanks for your comment, I think it’s important that we support each other and tear away the veil, so to speak, so people can see mental health for what it is – a health problem. Keep smiling! 🙂

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