I read a post a post the other day I felt I just had to comment on. Mostly, because I have felt the same as this person had. When I was depressed I felt very selfish. I felt selfish because I was unable to connect with others or truly listen to conversations. I was unable to enjoy time doing anything that I had previously loved doing. I was totally numb except for the excruciating pain that seemed to dwell inside my soul. I was exhausted and so distraught. I was a shell of my former self and felt powerless to do anything about it. It was then that I contemplated suicide.
Suicide is a selfish act. Even considering it was very selfish of me. It would have crushed my family and friends. It would have been a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I was in so much pain that I simply failed to see that.
I am very glad that I got help. It was the only way to pull me back from the cliff of pain I was falling off of. I am thankful everyday. However, it bothers me when I hear or read that some think they are selfish for not being able to feel. Some think they are selfish because they are hurting and can't seem to snap out of it. Mental illness is an illness not a choice. No one chooses to hurt or suffer. No one chooses to be numb.
Being selfish is a choice.
Selfish is hurting someone for your own personal gain. Selfish is taking advantage of people because you want something for yourself. Selfish is stealing or "borrowing" without asking. Selfish is not caring who you push down because you only think of yourself, your wants and your needs.
The author of this post was asking if selflessness was possible for her. I had to state the truth. Somehow we picture that selflessness is only when you do something insanely heroic. It seems we equate it with things like jumping in front of a bullet for a stranger. Yes, that is selflessness, but selflessness is also doing something for someone else and not expecting any thing back. You do it because you are nice. You do it because you care about their feelings. You do it because you love them. We do selfless things everyday with no ticker tape parade or banners proclaiming our good deeds. Listening to your significant other's problems when you are tired is selfless. Going over to someone's home when you would rather stay home, but you do it to make them happy, is a form of selflessness. Taking a few extra minutes to open a door for a stranger is not only being kind but being selfless. Putting ones needs or wants in front of your own, no matter how small is being selfless. It doesn't have to be news worthy to be anymore important. .Any time you give your time, money, or help and ask for nothing back you are being selfless. Many times we as mentally ill people, give and give. Right or wrong, we often put our illness in the background and try to do the things that makes the loved one's in our lives happy. One word, selfless.
Maybe it is because as a mentally ill person we tend to be so critical of ourselves. We tend to self hate or at least judge ourselves more harshly than we would others in the same position. We have to realize that we are ill but we are not defunct. We are selfless everyday. The fact that we are honest about our mental illness is being selfless. We know that we could be judged, but we want to help others like us. Guess what? That is selfless too. So let's take a moment and look in the mirror. We are may not be everything we want to be but we are definitely what we need to be. We are strong. We are caring. We are humble and most of all we are selfless.