Trade The Lies of Mental Illness for Real Love from Family
For years, I looked into the mirror, and all I could see was my bipolar disorder. I felt worthless. I wondered every day if my family would be better off if they just quit loving me. Maybe everyone would be better off if they forgot to feed me, forgot to look for me, let go of fighting for me. I believed the lies my bipolar disorder told me. I spent all my time and energy staring into a mirror that was lying to me. But now I know that it is possible to put down that mirror. It is possible to find self-love and acceptance when I refuse to listen to the lies of my mental illness, and instead look to the people who love me to help me define my self-worth.
You Can Waste Your Life Looking Into the Mirror of Mental Illness
You can waste years looking into the mirror. The mirror can convince you that you have nothing more to give. The mirror can convince you that everyone would be better off without you (Suicide Prevention: Bipolar And Suicide). But, that mirror is lying to you.
The more you stare into that lying mirror of mental illness the less able you are to love yourself, or anyone else. Mental illness magnifies every possible weakness, replays every failure. When you believe you’re worthless, when you can’t see past yourself, you fulfill your worst fears. You can become the very things you fear.
Stop Believing That You Are Defined by Your Illness
But you do not have to be defined by what your brain tells you. No matter how many sins you’ve committed, no matter whose heart you’ve broken, you have worth. Even if you are someone like me, who has torn at the fabric of your family, who has broken hearts, ruined credit scores, and disgraced reputations, you have worth. If you have breath in your body, you have something unique to offer the world.
I used to think family was a name, a reputation, a legacy. I thought family couldn’t survive my mental illness. That mirror told me there was a line family couldn’t love me past. But after I stopped looking in that lying mirror of mental illness, I realized that family runs deeper than anything I can do.
The mirror fails to mention that nothing could devastate a family more than losing one of its own to suicide due to mental illness. Family ties in to the marrow of who we are as human beings. Even if we chop it down and burn it up, it still throbs and aches for us. Family may not forgive like they should. Family may be deeply wounded and may never be the same. But family is where we all begin. Our families' roots grow together. If you allow your self-hatred to rip you straight out of the ground, friend, you do your family no favors. You tear their roots up, right along with yours.
Trust Your Loved Ones More Than Your Mental Illness
So, this year, if you make one resolution, stop looking into that lying mirror. Instead, start looking into the eyes of the people who love you. When you're reeling, when you want to give into the dark, talk to your people about your mental health struggles. Ask them if your deepest fears are grounded in truth. Ask them what they see when they look at you. Ask them to help you fight back this darkness.
Your family has a stake in you loving yourself. Their love is real; that lying mirror is not. Deep, true, rooted love is the only way back from your nightmares. True self-love is the only way back to sanity.
Arthur, T. (2016, January 13). Trade The Lies of Mental Illness for Real Love from Family, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalillnessinthefamily/2016/01/trade-the-lies-of-mental-illness-for-real-love-from-family