I used to feel I was so lost. I felt like I was drifting in the middle of the ocean clinging to any debris I could grasp onto, holding on for dear life lest I drifted away from anything that resembled land, stability, or God forbid myself.
Growing up with mental illness is difficult. Especially, when that is the time when you are supposed to be learning about who you are as a person. When you are supposed to be gaining personal beliefs and ideals. It can be hard to separate what is important and what is all in your head. It can take a devastating toll on your self esteem.
For me my mental illness was a catalyst to many decisions of my life that were to ultimately, become life lessons. Painful and yet important lessons. Like everyone else, I am just trying to figure out life on my own terms. I pick up little bits along the way. Some advice is helpful and some can and should be crumpled up like paper and thrown away.
Everyone has self esteem issues to some degree or `things that they don't like about themselves. It is a natural thing. However, when faced with mental illness these little negative voices in the back of your mind can gain strength. They are no longer small little pricks of the skin that rub you the wrong way. They can become monsters with fangs and sharpened talons that tear your self esteem and thoughts of self worth to shreds.
Having this occur can cause great pain. My mental illness has left behind me a trail of broken things. Bloodied and shattered bits of glass that once were my soul. I stepped on them and cut my feet, leaving behind scarlet footprints. Devastating wounds that at one time I was perfectly convinced would never heal. Agony and confusion that I thought were to be my only companions. Loss of myself and everything that I stood for that left me feeling like an empty vessel, cracked, unusable, and forgotten.
Years of constantly examining myself. Am I a good person? Is what I do good enough? Does what I say have any credence or worth? Do I matter?
Questions that have haunted and plagued me. Questions that everyone has asked themselves at one time or another and yet I was never sure of the answers.
That was then and this is now. I have come to realize that I am exactly who I need to be. Yes, because of my mental illness there are somethings I am not able to do. These things may cause some to have to help me more than others. That my mental illness is not something that everyone can or want to handle. That those that refuse to see me as I am or accept the true whole of me are not worth my time, my tears, or my worries. They simply do not deserve me. I have realized that even though I have mental illness, in no way does that make me any less important or desirable than anyone else. That I am more sensitive to other's pain because I have had pain. I have held it bleeding in my hands. That I am more caring because I have been abandoned by some that were supposed to be there for me. I understand loneliness and isolation. That I am more down right determined to never be cut down, pushed aside, or ignored. I have had too many times in my life when I was willing to stand up for others but not for myself because I felt deep down there was nothing to stand up for.
I refuse to kowtow and be subservient to these ridiculous notions that I am not good enough or somehow less because I suffer from something I never signed up for in the first place. If someone doesn't like me I don't need to win them over. It's their loss. It is their issue. I am worth so much more than allowing myself to be belittled or walked on. I am not a welcome mat for others to wipe their feet on me anymore. I don't know why I changed. I don't know if it is because I am older or because I have become stronger. What I do know is that I never deserved any of the painful treatment others inflicted upon me. That I never deserved the hot stinging tears that washed down my face because I was ashamed. Ashamed to be me. Ashamed to not be normal enough. Ashamed that deep down I was afraid all of the painful comments about me were true. I allowed other's to steal bits of me away. Rip and tear at me until I was left in shambles. I allowed others to take away things that made me who I am. My style, my beliefs, my hopes and dreams. No longer. This is me, take it or leave it. Like it or don't. Read what I write or click away to another page. Hear me or walk away. Walk with me as an equal or get lost. I don't need you if you can't see that none of us are perfect. That my issues do not lessen my being a decent, loyal, kind human being. That in a sea of uncertainty we are all fishes swimming around. Different colors, different sizes, different species but all still fish. My wounds have healed. My soul has been battered but it is intact. I let no one hurt me like that anymore. If I do not like what you offering I walk away. It's my choice to be free and happy. Let no one push you down and feed the fears that you are not good enough. You are, you just have to realize it first. Let no one tell you that you are incapable of being what you dream . You can do whatever it is that makes you happy, mental illness or not. They are not the boss. They do not have a crystal ball that foretells your future. Your future is yours and the sky is the limit. Don't let anyone tell you that you are worthless or unimportant. You are magnificent the way you are. You are perfectly imperfect just like everyone else. You are beautiful and odd and unique. The world would be so amazingly boring if it were only shaded in one drab color. Be you, the wonderful glorious shade of different and paint the world with your hopes and dreams.