Thursday, May 9, 2013

No More Apologizing

 It has come to my attention that many people that suffer from mental illness feel inferior. We often apologize for our feelings and beliefs. We apologize for possibly offending someone when we disagree with something said or done. Why do we do that? I want you to really take a second and ruminate on that question. Why do we feel our opinions and beliefs are something to apologize for? Do you see normal people going around apologizing for having an opinion? No. They don't. They don't because they have self confidence and we tend to lack in that department. We tend to feel not good enough and it's crap. Stinky smelly crap. There I said it.
I used to apologize or feel guilty because I had a different opinion or belief on something. I do not allow that anymore because I realized that it is my right to think and feel the way I do. I feel the way I do because of the things I have gone through in my life and I am predisposed to feeling that way. And you know what? I don't feel bad or guilty about it.
If you burned your hand on the burner of a stove , do you forget you burned yourself? Not likely. Afterwards you will always be cognizant that the stove can hurt you. You will always be careful to not touch the stove when it is hot. You will always make sure that you will not get burned get again.
Mental illness is the same way. If someone has hurt you or you have been hurt by something, you are not likely going to  trust easily. You will always doubt that everything is as it seems. Since mental illness hurts us, we doubt our emotions and our opinions. We are unsure of our worth and our validity. So let me just say this, we are valid. Our opinions are ours and we have nothing to feel guilty about. We do not have to agree with everyone else. We should stop apologizing for our feelings. They are ours and we have every right to feel them. We should stop minimizing our opinions. We think this way because of the things we have been through. It is our right to feel,think and believe the way we do. Our thoughts and opinions are valid. They are worthy to be heard. They do not need to be followed by "I'm sorry" or "I apologize". We do not need to apologize for what we believe.
The difference of opinions are what make us look at our lives in a different light. It makes us think about things in a way that we may never have thought of before. Different is glorious. I am not saying we don't have to listen to others opinions, I am saying that we have to have ours heard as well. We have to speak up and stop being sorry.
When we put down the niceties and window dressings we have nothing left but honesty. When we stop playing dress up with lies, we become our own true self. We stand, we are counted, and we matter.
The best friendships I have had in my life are the ones that are based on honesty. If I look like something the cat dragged in, they would tell me. If we disagree on a point, we talk it out. Neither of us may change our opinion but we respect each other's view. That is because we respect each other. My wish is that we start to believe that what we think is important. Because it is important. My wish is that we start feeling like our opinions are valid. Because they are. My wish is that we all understand that it is perfectly acceptable to be who we are, right now at this moment in time. Because we are just as worthy as everyone else. My wish is that we stop apologizing for our beliefs when we think we are not good enough to have any or talk about the ones we have. Because our beliefs are ours and they are just as valid as anyone else's. My wish is that we stop worrying about offending and insulting others and realize that when we minimize our feelings or apologize for our opinions we are offending and insulting ourselves. [tweet this]. That we are saying that they don't mean anything. And they mean absolutely everything. They are a representation of who you are and what you stand for as a mental illness sufferer, as an individual  and as a person. You have the right to believe and think and have opinions. You are valid and what your feel is valid. You have the right to feel the way you do and not be sorry or scared that what you have to say is wrong or not good enough to be said. It is good enough. It matters. It is perfectly ok to agree, disagree, or be undecided. So let's put down the window dressing and get real. Let's start to believe in ourselves and our words. Let's stop putting ourselves down for being different and start accepting that what we have to say is necessary for us to say and necessary for others to hear. Words are powerful and we need to stop apologizing for using them.
I would like to ask you to please take a moment and watch this video. A few posts back I wrote about wishing there was a more accurate film depicting OCD and I have found it. I think that it represents not only some of  the common compulsions of OCD but more importantly the pain that is living with this illness. When I see shirts and memes making light of my mental illness, I tend to get upset. Because OCD is so not funny. Because OCD is a debilitating disorder of the mind that can, if allowed to, take over your whole life. I have not seen this movie. I have not seen it because I am afraid I will see to much of myself in it. That I may pick up compulsions again and I do not want to live that way. Not that watching a movie can make me start to compulse again, but I am scared of the possibility. I think I might just rent the movie later when I have time to watch it alone. I may cry if I watch it, because I feel like it is somehow a mirror to some of the things I have lived. The excerpt of the film is good enough for me right now. The pain is so readily available in this clip that I just felt I had to share it. I feel that maybe , finally some people will get just how devastating OCD really is to your ability to function, your relationships, and your life. OCD is not obsessive coffee disorder or obsessive corgi disorder as some shirts make light of. OCD has a broad spectrum of symptoms as this clip shows. From being a complete clean freak to a hoarder type. If untreated OCD can become a living hell. If untreated it can turn from carrying soap in your pocket to well, peeing in jugs, No one wants that. I certainly don't want that. What is so upsetting is had Howard Hughes been alive in this time, his life could have been less painful. There is help now and unfortunately in his time there was nothing to be done. He suffered needlessly and was taken over by his illness/my illness to the point of him living like a hermit alone and  It makes me sad.
For those of you who can not see the video the link is

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