When I was living in my disease I built up walls. I thought I was building them up to protect me from all of you. From the big bad cruel world that was out to get me. But what I was really doing was building walls to protect my disease so I could stay sick. I didn’t want to stay sick, but that’s what’s tricky about mental illness, it controls our thoughts and actions without us even knowing it, making us think what we’re doing is our idea, when it’s really not, or in our best interest. Those walls that I built to protect me, only protected me from getting well, and behind those walls I kept getting sicker.
When I think back to those years I struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and bad habits and decisions that did harm to my overall mental, spiritual and physical health, my decline was so seamless I didn’t even notice it until I felt overwhelmed by it. I had been setting up my own decent into darkness for years and years, and as each year passed, I built up more and more walls to keep me from connecting from those people, places and things that could have had a positive influence on me. I didn’t want a positive anything in my life, even though I thought I did, but truthfully as the years went on I didn’t feel I deserved it, so I set myself up to fail, to fall deeper and deeper into the dark until I almost wasn’t able to find my way out. I would have been offended back then if someone had said I had disease, much less that I had been protecting it, but that is the truth of what was going on, and I am responsible for my part and acknowledging my disease was the first step in taking my life back.
We all can build walls to protect us from things we think are there to harm us. But how many of us have built them to protect us from getting help, or better, and we’re actually protecting our disease and keeping ourselves sick because that is what we know and think where we’re supposed to be? What are our walls protecting exactly? Only we can be rigorously honest and ask ourselves that truth.
For some of us, our sicknesses have become our identity, it’s what connects us to others who will not judge us, because those we spend our time with our just as sick, or perhaps sicker. We keep ourselves tethered to people and things that keep us just out of reach of the help we may need, or even a positive voice that may shed some light on our path. For me, I had been doing that for so long, it was absolutely terrifying to step out into the light, to feel exposed and unsure of the next step, but it also felt liberating to no longer feel tied down and ashamed the place I found myself, and, in doing so, I found a little bit of hope that I could move forward from that place and it wasn’t my destiny to stay stuck there. The truth is, we are never stuck, unless we allow ourselves to be, there is always hope, there is always help, and there is always a way out, but we’ll never find those things hiding behind our walls all by ourselves.
Tear down those walls you may have built, or, at least look around them, to find the light you need to light your path. Stop protecting what harms you and start fighting for yourself and where you are supposed to be, a place that allows you to be your best self, reaching your full potential and your dreams of what you could become. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you build walls to protect yourself? From what? From whom? Is it possible you are protecting your disease, or sickness, bad habits or fears that keep you away from connecting with people who may love and support you? Why do you think you do this? When did you start doing this? What can you do to stop doing this? How does it harm you to do this? Find the courage SLAYER, to reach out, to connect with those like yourself, with those who have overcome obstacles of their own and who may offer you a hand to pull you out from behind those walls you’ve built for yourself.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you