A quote I came across today, which I have seen many times before, read, “You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.” So true!
My whole life I’ve always felt I’ve been different than everyone else, like I something wasn’t quite right, or like I didn’t fit in. I never functioned the same socially as most or even on an individual basis. Sure, I’m able to play the part and throw out smiles and laughs and appear to be super lively and social with others, but most of my life I’ve found it quite awkward and uncomfortable socializing with others. Like something wasn’t quite right inside me. I never really understood it.
Fast forward, the last 8 years things intensified. Fast forward again to being diagnosed with a few specific mental illnesses a few months ago. BINGO. Suddenly, everything made sense. All these ‘symptoms’ that I had that no one else around me seemed to exhibit or deal with, they made sense.
- Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment – such as rapidly initiating intimate relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned
- A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, and often swinging from extreme closeness and love to extreme dislike or anger
- Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive behaviors
- Self harming
- Recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors or threats
- Intense and highly changeable moods, with episodes lasting from anywhere from a few days to a few hours
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Difficulty trusting
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Being tired & without energy
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- A few more I don’t feel like typing out because I’m tired of making a really long list 🤣
There it is. The list that finally made sense of why I’ve been the way I am. I have mental illnesses that prevent me from being ‘normal’ like I wish I could be. I watch others so easily control their feelings and behaviors. I watch others find it so easy to socialize with others and make friends. I watch others function 40 hours a week at a job with ease. I watch others be smart with their money and budget. I watch others enjoy life & find happiness & joy in their every days. I watch others not care about what anyone thinks about them. I watch others who have confidence & are secure in who they are. They know who they are and are proud of it.
So why can’t I be like that?? I work my ass off every single day to be ‘normal’ and to function on a ‘normal’ level. I’ve been going to therapy for 3 months for 3 hours a day and work my butt off every single day outside of therapy to apply all the skills I’m learning. Even with the skills, though, I feel like I’m still not adding up & getting on the same level as everyone else. Whenever I f**** up a relationship with someone, I want to scream and tell them all about my mental illnesses and hope that it’ll change the damage I’ve done or hope that they’ll see me with more grace and understanding and love and stick by my side. Instead I have been through countless friendships. I’ve attached strongly to people I don’t even know well, which causes me to think about them like, all the time, idealize them, want to be their friend, want to spend time with them, want to talk to them, want to be good enough for them, want to be loved by them, want to be accepted by them. It literally controls my mind and heart so much that it’s unbearable.
I’ve always had a problem with my self image. With my confidence. With my love for myself. With grace for myself. I’ve never felt worthy enough or good enough or pretty enough. I look at everyone and think about how everyone else is so much kinder or prettier or beautiful or loving, much more than me. I’ve always thought, “how could anyone truly love me?”. I’ve always felt like God really messed up in making me. That He forgot to properly wire my head and heart. That He experimented with me and didn’t give me a normal set up like most people I know.
One second life can be good. The next second it can feel like my whole world is crashing in and I can’t breathe. One second I can be dancing in my dance class, happy, smiling, laughing, enjoying, the next I can feel super out of place, self conscious, and have to put all my might to make it thru the rest of the class instead of running out and running away. What in the world is that?
So why can’t I just switch that off? Why can’t I feel normal like a normal person about people? Why do I have to care so much about what people think? Why do I replay conversations over and over and over again in my head? Why do I ‘read vibes’ from people and then feel like shit all day if I feel like things are weird or awkward or like they don’t like me? Why can’t I believe someone or take them at their word if they say they’re my friend or they love me? Why can’t I figure this sh** out? It’s the gosh dang mental illness. & no. I don’t use it as an excuse. Cuz God knows if I could just do away with it, I would in an absolute heartbeat. I would give absolutely anything to be like normal functioning adults. I would give anything to feel or think like a normal person.
I would give anything to turn off the switch. To not care what anyone thinks. To find happiness within myself. To function 40 hours a week at a job. To not feel the need to be loved and accepted. To not replay conversations or every word I say to someone in my head. To not think about anyone all day. To be smart with my money and not have to borrow money from my mom just to be able to pay my bills. To not feel like everyday is a sh** show battle inside my head and heart that some days I struggle with all my might to get through. To not feel like life is hell and pointless at times. Oh what I would give to be normal. To feel normal. To think normal.
Maybe I’m complaining. Maybe I think I have it worse than I actually do. But oh what I wouldn’t give to just have a break from this mental illness and for it to disappear and for me to love life and love myself. What I wouldn’t do for Borderline Personality Disorder or major depressive disorder or anxiety to not be a thing. For there to be a cure.
I didn’t ask for these cards. I’ve tried finding a way to get new cards dealt. I’ve tried pleading and bargaining and controlling. It doesn’t work. & i know it won’t. I can only keep trying my best to play with the cards God gave me & hope that He stays by my side through every step of life. I need to trust that God knows what He is doing & is a good card player. Without Him, I’m not quite sure how all of this would be possible. Life with multiple mental illnesses is hard.
Give grace to those who have one, or multiple, mental illnesses. Love them extra hard. Give them extra grace, extra love, extra acceptance, extra time. They need it.