Truths

Learning To Live

Recognition is everything.

What I’ve learned through this peer support position is that there’s a difference between “accepting” your “illness” and recognizing the way you think. I would even be daring enough to say that it’s simpler to accept your “sick” than it is to recognize how you think and constantly challenge it.

I do not mean fight it. I do not mean the day to day fight we all endure with anxiety or depression or voices or mood swings. What I mean by constantly challenging it is learning to live with some discomfort.

That’s the line that was in the description of the job position listed online. They didn’t call out for “mentally ill” people. They didn’t request “sick” people. They didn’t request “people who have accepted they are crazy”. They requested for people who have learned to live with some discomfort.

While exercising my right as a student against the financial aid department today, I felt the anger bubbling and the paranoia joining in: I was sure the woman at the counter, the one who I’d had trouble with in the past, was a racist woman who had messed up my account on purpose . I was sure she had entered the wrong information into the system on purpose a month and a half ago when I turned in all my paper work. She wanted to see me squirm. She didn’t like that I wasn’t someone like her, so she didn’t care whether or not I got my money. She wanted to keep me poor like the rest of the non-white, non-hispanic students at my college–all 26 of us.

I stormed out of the office shouting about their B.S. I slammed my car into the wrong gear and sped off down the street. I sent a very discontented email to the heads of the financial aid department and, as I suspected, I was in the right: they’ve fixed all the trouble and I will be getting my money soon.

But while all of this was going down, the woman was in the back of my mind. So was all of the other people in the recent past who I’ve felt were purposefully conspiring against me, whether it be whole organizations, peers and guests at work, students, professors, e.t.c.

It’s one thing to be aware of the paranoia. It’s another thing to sit in a seat, breathe, and realize even if the woman did plot against me, everything worked out in the end. It’s another thing to sit in a seat, breathe, and be okay with the reality my brain created because in the end whether it was real or not, neither truth really mattered. What mattered was the outcome.

I don’t have all the answers. All I can possibly know is what I experience. Perhaps that woman has been conspiring against me this entire semester. Perhaps she does have some hagish vendetta against me: what does that matter? She hasn’t prevented me from doing anything. She hasn’t physically attacked me or telepathically attacked me.

And as my kitten stretches out on my lap and gives me quick little kisses with her tongue on my cheek, her simplicity makes me see how meaningless trivial experiences like this are. The bond we’ve created this last week will outlast any conspiracy against me. It will outlast any anxiety, any depression, and any physical part of life. There’s so much more in the world that we can’t see, that we can’t manipulate with our hands, that we can’t tear down with our words–things in the air, things in the soul, things in the heart, that should be the focus of our lives.

So what if you experience something better or worse than your neighbor. It doesn’t make you better or worse or sick or sane or ill or healthy or wrong or right. All of it just makes you human. Let the bad days exist. You couldn’t possibly know what’s coming tomorrow.

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Andromeda Says Hi.

About AlishiaDee (372 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

8 Comments on Learning To Live

  1. Good life lessons in this post. I’m glad you got your financial aid straightened out. I had problems once too and it took awhile to get the office t fix it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Andromeda, is your mom petting you enough? I’m sure is never enough for you tho but she’s a good mom she will love you a lot. Awww she’s so damn cute, Ali! I’m sorry for not passing by in such a long time, I’ve been crazy… and calculus, and University, and I hurt my foot lol What is life even? I agree with you, the hardest lesson is to understand so many things are meaningless and we can’t control like 99,9% of life, no wonder why is so hard to accept it. I’m so happy you got Andromeda. BTW more pictures won’t hurt nobody. Big hugs~

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 thanks!! She’s such a sweetie. And so energetic! I’m teaching her how to fetch 😁 she a my cat-dog Lol. And it’s okay, hope things have been going well at uni! I’m gearing up for my calc 2 final. What happened to your foot??:O hope it’s okay! And I’m happy I have her too, she really helps me sleep at night. Ill be taking tons of pics! Hugs to you as well 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hiya Andromeda, et al. 🙂 Trying to figure out the motivation of others can be quite tempting at times. I know and do it far too often. Ascribing sinister, conspiratorial plans to those who seem out to get me. And even when I’m not paranoid I often think I can tell what others truly think of me. More times than not I’m probably wrong when I do this ascribing and like you said in the end it doesn’t really change the outcomes I’m dealing with, just changes my mindset and truthfully not for the better. Live and learn. Gnothi seauton!… Easier said than done sometimes, but I’ll never stop trying.
    Have a great non-sucky day…Good luck with calc final! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! Sometimes it seems like overthinking is just the result of all this ridiculousness and if I could just stop doing that maybe things would change. Too bad I love thinking too much to stop doing it XD. Thanks for stopping by! Hope your days have been swell! And thanks for the good luck wishes!

      Like

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