This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.
This post started out as a post about something completely different. But as I was writing, the topic morphed, and I realized that I needed to process through something.
Where do my illnesses end and I begin?
And not in a “I am not my illness” kind of way, but in a “I need to take responsibility for my actions and not let my illness take the blame for all of it”
I talk a lot about how I do or don’t do things because of my list of labels. The depression will keep me from cleaning the kitchen, executive dysfunction from ADHD will get in the way of doing the dishes, mania will have me spending all of the money, or anxiety will cause me to cancel plans with friends.
Any of them can send me running to my bed with covers over my head.
Maybe my kitchen is a wreck because I don’t feel like cleaning, maybe bipolar has nothing to do with it.
Maybe my sink is full of dishes right now because I’m just being lazy. Maybe it’s not executive dysfunction.
Maybe I want to spend money because I’m just bad with money. Maybe it’s my own fault and not the bipolar. Maybe I just need more self control.
Maybe I cancel plans with friends because I’ve become more introverted and I’m more comfortable being alone.
Maybe, sometimes, the illness is easy to blame, but maybe it’s just as much my personality as anything.
But, I wonder if it matters.
No matter why I’m not cleaning, I need to figure out a way to get the kitchen clean and the dishes done. It doesn’t matter if its because of my illness or because I’m a lazy lump that day, I need to find a way through it so the job gets done.
And I need to do it with kindness and compassion towards myself.
Same with the money, and finding ways to follow through on plans.
Blaming myself isn’t doing anyone any good.
I also wonder how much these things became part of my personality because of my illnesses.
Where do I end and the illnesses begin?