Well it’s their choice.
They made their choice now deal with it
We are what we choose
*insert whatever here* is a choice not an excuse
When I hear the above statements about the choices we make I can usually agree when the statements are made about a mentally fully functioning person. I do not agree with it when it is applied to people who suffer trauma and mental illness. It’s not about excuses or hall passes – it’s about facts of mental health. It’s about the abilities of the mind to totally fuck itself.
Not one of us experience mental illness the same. We may have many commonalities but more often than not, far more differences.
Experts do not and cannot know us and our uniqueness Because we are not just a bunch of symptoms. We all have different lives, history, labels, economic situations and far more details that make up our life – the only thing we may share is that we suffer from mental illness.
The people who say it’s about the choices you make, have done so from their own unique experience and cannot possibly base such general assumptions on the choices others make.
Emotional trauma doesn’t magically fuck off on it’s unicorn and leave you feeling ready to start a new chapter in your life. It instead lays dormant for days, weeks, months and sometimes years and throws you into a huge wave that has you coming up for air only to be sucked down again.
For sure, some are lucky to get great therapy that actually works for them and they go on to lead a happy life.
However, if they also have a mental illness that wave doesn’t stop. It just recedes for what can seem like an age – fooling you into to uttering the words ‘I’m actually over it – I have let go of it all.’ Then the wave rolls back in and says “Got you motherfucker”.
The woman who is not getting out of bed because the black dog has come in to the house with muddy feet is not making a choice – her fucked up head is not giving her the faculties to even choose.
The bipolar person experiencing mania is not in your world they are in a very unique place and time that doesn’t even include their true core (or does it?) Their choices are deemed to be mad – but they aren’t choices made with a sound mind.
Experts get taught from books and psych wards but they have no way of really knowing the experience or the thoughts of each patient.
Hyper sexuality isn’t a choice – it’s an out of body mind tripping, uncontrollable urge. Drug addiction isn’t a choice – taking the first drug is. The addiction that follows often including mental illness is a claustrophobic clusterfuck.
You don’t know me. I don’t know you. We don’t fully know ourselves. We never will.
When one of my family members attempts suicide I get angry – I want to give them the 101 book of most definitely fatal ways to die so they can get it done and dusted and let everyone else live their lives without the constant stress. That doesn’t make me right – it’s just how I feel. Then that feeling changes and I switch to empathy and that feeling can also change. It is the same with my behaviours – my friends and family are not immune to the affects of my mental illness – and sure they must get sick to death of it. They have valid feelings too but they don’t have a full understanding of why I am the way I am.
I am more wise than many people think but many also know I am quick to anger and very impulsive. They still don’t fully understand those behaviours, nor do all the doctors and nor do I.
Medications are not a cure – they are often helpful to control things and turn things down a notch. We are not cured by food. We are not cured by lifestyle. We are however helped by these things. We know this to be true. But when your head is slammed into another episode all of that goes out the window. You lose motivation, you get overly motivated, you get depressed, you get high. You’re anxious as fuck and it makes you think about your label every single day.
Stop telling yourself and others that we are where we are because of the choices we make. That may apply to people who have had hardships without mental illness – maybe even those with ‘minor’ depression – but for the majority of the people with major depression, Bipolar, schizophrenia, personality disorders and all the other illnesses – we’re not choosing – we are feeling like we are lost. We often make poor choices based on that and then get lectured again about making choices.
We all make our choices is the clusterfuck word of the New Age.
In my world it’s – ‘Just survive and try to thrive.’