The picture has nothing to do with this post really. It’s just pretty and positive. Well maybe it does…I guess it shows that even when you are going uphill…the scenery is still pretty.
I went to see my new therapist yesterday. She isn’t really new…I should move to calling her my therapist. I don’t go see her often because my co-pay is really high but I need to. I plan to go more often now that I am nearing my out of pocket maximum for the year.
We started talking about EMDR therapy. Getting prepared to start this summer. If it works. I have concerns that I will be able to do it. I am very blocked and guarded. Very disconnected from “me” and who I was. It is a confusing feeling. I can’t cry for me – but I can cry for someone else. I discussed my concerns and she said we will try it. It may work – it may not. I’m up for trying something new. What can I lose? I’ve got the issues. I need to keep looking for ways to cope with them.
We discussed briefly when I was in the hospital in 2011. I came out with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I’ve never been convinced of that one, but she asked if I ever read the symptoms…I said not recently. She thought it might be a good idea for me to read them again. Then she asked if anyone had every suggested personality disorders to me…I said no. Although, I do remember discussing that possibility with myself on occasion. I read a little on it this morning…took an online quiz, and qualified for all possibilities in varying degrees. I thought – “sounds about right.”
So what does this label say about me? What does it do to my future? Do I throw it all away now because I have a label?
Does it mean I will never be able to be in a long-term, healthy committed relationship? Am I too f*cked up? This isn’t the first time I’ve asked myself that.
Was I born this way? Maybe. At least with tendencies.
Did my life experience give me these traits and this condition that comes with a label? Maybe. Probably.
Is it a life sentence? Likely. I don’t expect to be “cured”.
Does the label mean I can’t keep doing my job. No.
Does the label mean I can’t continue to help people? No
Does the label mean I should stop trying to be the best person I can be? No
Does the label limit me in any way? Only if I want it to.
Does the label make me any different than I was yesterday before we talked about these labels? No
So what am I going to do? I am going to keep moving forward. Keep learning coping strategies. Concentrate on me. Learn what I like to do. Try to be kinder to myself and others. Remind myself of all the positive things about myself that counter the negative. The positives outweigh the negative.
Labels don’t have to limit us. Labels don’t define us. Labels help us understand ourselves and others. Labels allow us to look for and learn how to cope. I’m not giving this label the power to bring me down. I’m going to use it to empower myself to find solutions.
So what if I have “mental illness”? I have grey hair and carry extra weight too. All in their own way create challenges but are part of what makes me “me”. I have characteristics that are labeled as mental illness. I own it. I live it. I am not ashamed by it. It makes me who I am. Take it or leave it.