Thursday, April 4, 2013

Taking Back My Life

I would like to thank my friend  for giving me the inspiration for this post. He is a kind soul and we have endured eerily similar experiences. Thank you Martin for your bravery and inspiration...

When you are first diagnosed with a mental illness, two things happen. Relief that you are not going crazy and there is a name for your affliction. Then there is the soul shattering realization that you are going to have this mental illness for the rest of you life. It is upsetting and sad. We feel broken.
It forces us to relearn how to live. We have to relearn how to walk one step at a time. We have to find our footing again, as a person with mental illness. We have to learn to go around our obstacles to be able to do the things we need or want to do. In essence we have to learn to take our lives back from the anger, sadness, and shame. We have to learn to take back our moments, our emotions, and our desires.
There are banners, conventions, and parades for many things. There are no pretty floats and flags for mental illness. I like to think that the more we admit loudly about our mental illness we are waving our own banners and holding our own personal conventions. We are walking in our own parades. The more we stand up the more we are fighting for the cause of the mentally ill everywhere. The more we openly speak out the more we are eradicating misinformation and fear. That we are doing our part not only to end the stigma that cloaks us but also erasing the shame that goes with it. We are taking our lives back one sentence at a time.

Maybe it is because my grandmother's stubbornness was passed down to me, but I refuse to be hiding in the shadows and lower my head in shame.
I will not be ashamed. I will not live my life broken.  I will not feel guilty.I will not be a victim of this damn disease. It will not win. It will not take what is rightfully mine away from me. We can be what we want. We can be loud. We do not have to hide. We are strong.

Every time we speak out, we are taking back our lives one day at a time. One post at a time. One word at a time. We are worth so much more than what we give ourselves credit for. There is nothing that says we can not live happy good lives. We are able to be who we want to be. We can lift ourselves up from the depths we have dwelled in for so long. We are the creators of our own destiny. We don't need to be normal to accept the fact that we are here, we are present, and we are worthy.

I refuse to accept the notion handed to me that because I am mentally ill I am somehow less important than my garbage man or the CEO of a fortune 500 company. I am here and what I have to say is important. I refuse to listen to the negative connotations that the media has placed on my head that mentally ill means I am dangerous or insane. I am not insane. I am altered chemically in my brain. So what. I don't need to be like everyone else to prove that I am a master of my own life, no matter what lies my mental illness tells me. I refuse to believe that we are not worthy to be accepted or given understanding. In fact I demand understanding because no one deserves to live in fear or shame. So I am here. We are here and we are not going away. We are here and we taking our lives back from our disorders.
I will not check. I will not bow down to my issues. I will not be afraid of how others perceive me. I will not hide in the dark. I refuse to be ashamed of who I am. I will not accept being ignored or shut away. I am taking back my life from my mental illness. One step at a time, one compulsion at a time, One day at a time.
 We are all worthy of what ever it is what we want. We deserve it and it's damn well time we realized it. We can take back our lives and we will. Because we are strong. We are honest.We are magnificent and we matter. [tweet this]. We can do this.
                                                          Neurotic Nelly

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