One of the biggest things that I have struggled with throughout the journey with my mental illness(es) is my own insight. I fell in love with psychology in high school when I took an intro to psych course. I went on to pursue it for three years at college until I left due to mental health medical leave.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many countless hours I have spent reminiscing and getting frustrated with myself because I’ve STUDIED THIS. I KNOW about mental health. I KNOW about treatment. I KNOW how to help others around me when they need it. So why couldn’t/can’t I just do the same for myself? Why can’t I change the way I think and why can’t I treat myself?
After so long of being sad and burdened by these disappointing thoughts, I’ve taken on a new way of life. I meditate daily. The meditation helps me to heal my mind and allow it to stretch to different lengths. Meaning that it helps me think about things differently by making me more patient and calm. I had decided I HAD to find a way to not feel guilty about studying psychology and having a mental illness that I can’t cope with alone. At some point in life I may want to pursue a career in psychology and the thought of having to utilize services felt hypocritical to me.
I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that just because someone has insight and knowledge, doesn’t mean it can be applied to themselves. You wouldn’t expect a brain surgeon to perform surgery on their own brain. Sure, they know how to do it. They’ve done it a million times. They studied it. They KNOW. But they can’t do it on themselves. They have someone else do it for them.
It should be the same for mental health. Even though physical health is much easier to understand and to empathize with- we shouldn’t be treating it differently than physical health. There’s such a stigma around mental health STILL in 2016. Granted, we have come a LONG way from where we started, it’s still upsetting that we stereotype and misuse words or downplay serious illnesses.
People have a hard time believing things they can’t personally understand. (Which is ironic since so many people against mental health and that provoke the stigma are religious and believe in an entity that has no physical evidence whatsoever.)
So wherever you are on your journey. Wherever you are in recovery. Cut yourself some slack. Even if you’re in the same boat as I am, you’re not expected to know everything. You’re not expected to be able to fix yourself. Don’t let yourself be your biggest enemy.
Peace, Love, and Light to my readers.