When I was very ill, it was obvious what needed to change in my life for me to get better, and once I removed that from my life my disease started to reach for other things that I could use to try to fill the void I felt inside, to soothe me or to try to quiet my mind. It was so seamless at times I didn’t even realize I was doing it, and it sometimes worked it’s way in as things that wouldn’t necessarily raise a red flag at first, sugar, caffeine, shopping, overeating, not eating enough, exercise, even gum chewing, the behaviors or habits would start and because I was so focused on the removal of something else that brought me to my knees, I wasn’t looking at these others things. Mental illness is very cunning, it will disguise itself as anything it needs to to survive. It watches and listens as you get better, and tries to find the work-around, and, if we let our guards down, it succeeds. I’ve seen it at work in my own life, and it has almost succeeded, and, I’ve seen it succeed in others’ lives, and take lives. It shows no mercy. It doesn’t care who you are, where you’ve come from, that you may be a loving talented person, it wants what it wants, and mine wants me dead.
The trick for me is stay on top of things. To not let old habits slide, and to stay accountable for my actions. I have an incredible network of people in my life who I stay honest with, and when I notice something flare up or that I may be falling back I call myself out, that way I now have to take action, and there is going to be a person, or people, there to check in on me.
Before stepping on this path I kept anything I thought was bad to myself. I never shared anything with anyone except the good stuff, and even then I was a little hesitant because I was concerned I would jinx it, or that the person I was sharing it with wouldn’t like me anymore. This was the insanity of my head. So when I made the commitment to get well I had to out myself on everything. No more secrets. And damn it felt so good. After a lifetime of putting on an act or showing you only what I thought you wanted to see, it felt so good to just be myself, the good, the bad and the ugly, especially the ugly, to just let it all out. The reaction I got was incredible, so much support, but that’s not why I did it, I did it because it was imperative for my survival, and my recovery, but the support and love helped quiet down my disease that used to tell me that no one cared, they did care, and always had, but I hadn’t let them.
Being open and honest about who we are and what we struggle with sheds light on our disease, or illness. When we are open and honest we let the light in and those damaging habits or behaviors can’t hide in the shadows like they once could. We have to stay vigilant about our own recovery and health, mind, body and spirit, because when we’re looking the other way what we think we’re battling can shapeshift into something else that we think is harmless, and that’s when it can do the most harm. When you notice something coming up more frequently in your life, take notice of it, it could be a sign that something is running amok in your life while you’re attention is elsewhere. As much as we think we can outsmart it, it knows what we know and the moment we let our guard down, or have a moment of doubt, it takes that opportunity to slide in and lay some roots. The key to our best selves, and healthy selves, is to be open and honest about who we are and where we are, to remove those things from our lives that take us down an undesirable path, and that harm our spirit. Watch out for the shapeshifter in your life, and identify it for what it really is, that is the only way to reduce it’s power and to take yours back. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you notice your disease, mental illness, or struggles shapeshift in your life? How so? How have you caught it? How have you quashed it? How has it gotten the best of you at times? How can you stay on top of things and keep it from shapeshifting? Typically when things shapeshift in our lives it’s because we’re taking something bigger on and our disease feels threatened, or we’re not being honest about who we are and what we’re struggling with, truth will stop it in it’s tracks, it has nowhere to hide in our truth, so let your light shine in all the shadow places it likes to hide and share your truth with those around you, once you get to the source of your struggles you have the ultimate weapon at your disposal, and no amount of shapeshifting can survive that.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you