Ending Stigma Begins with Me – Befriending Myself

Baby-Kissing-on-Mirror

“Some of us are crèmes brûlées, unfortunately in the presence of those who would rather have corn dogs. We can try to degenerate into corn dogs to make them happy, or we can just accept the fact that we were made for Paris!” 
― C. JoyBell C.

You can tell I am not feeling confident lately.  After almost 3 years of being off work, fighting for long-term disability, having bad days, good days, and sometimes dreadful moments, my mind wants to shut off. If I am not distracting myself with games or television, I am pondering about the dreams I am having lately, and daydreaming of how I want my life to be.

I don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, however, I remember my therapist telling me, well actually repeating (because this comes up often) « you need to be with the way you are now ». Now she is not telling me to lay around and be a couch potato, however, she is telling me to stay in the moment and be « aware » of my behaviour and take note of it, and if that means I need some distraction time, then do it!

Furthermore, I started, over the summer, 5 books! Yes 5, and I cannot get through either one of them. Not because the books are not interesting, however, my mind is having extreme difficulty retaining information. I can read short bursts of info, like headlines in a magazine, or short stories… So needless to say I am pretty discouraged with myself, and brain… If it just could SHUT up for a few seconds, maybe I could carry out something.

I have gained 20!! Yes 20 pounds over the past 3 years. The depression and agoraphobia are keeping my activity at a slow pace, and eating has become such a comfort, that I feel I am self-medicating. This is a catch 22 really, because I want to stop eating, yet it is hard, then I eat and feel bad about it. Now before you come to me with your  (compassionate)« you should do green juice» and your (well-meaning)« you should practice yoga «  ideas,:  I know, I know, I KNOW… and I thank you in advance for caring as such to suggest it to me. The word « should » however, is not in my vocabulary (although I catch myself still saying it).

I know what I « SHOULD » be doing…

Just give me time… I know what I need… at least I am learning.

The healing process over the past 3 years is much slower than I expected. In my mind, I would take a few pills, go to therapy, work on going outside, and work in going inwards (to heal things I never knew were really hurting me still)… and poof! I would be fixed!

God Darn it! It doesn’t work that way!emotions21

An old friend of mine (we decided to take a break from each other) told me recently :

« I just don’t understand how you choose to live this way » , and

«You do not seem to be getting any better! ».

Are you kidding me?

This in turn, reinforced the little voices in my head which accuse me of being a fraud, a fake, a lazy asshole. However, I know my friend didn’t mean it in that way (she really doesn’t understand), although the words did hurt. To be fair, I asked her to tell me the truth about how she is feeling towards our friendship, and I am happy she let me know.

Empower Myself

When your family Dr and your therapist say : « You are not ready to go back to work » Realistacally, I am not ready to go back to work (can you imagine my chagrin when a panic attack hits me before I leave or worst yet there?)… If I cannot even concentrate to read 3 pages of a book, or do a chore without dropping something, or crying, or screaming out of frustration, then there is still work to do on ME!

I come first this time around.

All this to say : The judgements of others shouldn’t matter, in fact, they tend to reinforce the judgments I have already ingrained in my brain. The voices of society are hard to shoo away… the loud voices inside my head are relentless and unkind, mean and brutal. The self-bullying can often be tamed on certain days by my supporters, my family, my friends, my therapist and my children. These are the voices of love and reason. So recently, I learned to speak their language. The language of love, encouragement and hope. The tell tales of faith, inspiration and loyalty.

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” 
― Eckhart TolleA New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

You can do it Kim! You got this!

I am done! Done with ignorance… Done with stigma and done with all this talk about « oh if only she did this or that or that or this!??? »

Shut up already… Aren’t you tired?

I am. I am ready to be my own boss, allowing my outer council « therapists, dr’s. & friends » and my inner council : Little Kim, creative Kim, soulful Kim, wise Kim … Me in fact.. to call the shots.

Forget other’s judgements:

It all starts with me. To fight stigma, I have to stop blaming myself for having a mental-illness. I mean, would I say?  “oh wow look at you Kim. you just gave yourself a broken bloody leg. Now just go and walk on it… Fight the pain will ya’ and don’t faint!!” 

If I can accomplish less self-doubt, and bullying, maybe I wont be so distracted anymore by imaginary (and maybe real) chitter chatter, and I can finally sit down and finish those 5 books I desperately want to read.

I miss reading.

“Do you love yourself? The test is simple. Do you look at others and see anything besides another beautiful human being? Do you see somebody who is more beautiful or less beautiful than you? If so, look down a little deeper and ask yourself why. It may be painful. The whys usually are. Do it anyway.” 
― Dan PearceSingle Dad Laughing

4 Comments

  1. Wow, Kim, I just had a very similar conversation with a friend about an hour ago…how I was tired of feeling embarrassed, weak, shamed and how other people’s cracks make me feel even more so. I can so relate to this entire post. My progress had been painfully slow too and I still feel like I have soooo far to go, it makes me even more tired and depressed and anxious. Just know that you aren’t alone and that I think you are doing remarkably well. You should have pride in yourself for even the tiniest triumph and from reading your blog and Facebook page,I know you have done some brave things.I know exactly how you are feeling as I’m right there with you. Much love sent your way! We will get there someday…keep the faith.

    • Kim

      September 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      One of the blessings I have since I started this blog is meeting you Sheila. Amazing to have someone I can relate to even if we live thousands of miles apart.

      As we progress, even the tiny baby steps, we can encourage each other.

      🙂 Happy Day to you .

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