|Its easy to let our mental illnesses hold us back. There are things I loved to do, like go to baseball games, but for a long time I couldn't. I was afraid that I would get overwhelmed. All those people in such a crowded placde did things to my mind. I would worry that I would get my delusions--that my mind would make up stories for all the hustle and bustle that was going on around me.
The thing is, I loved going to baseball games but I wouldn't for a long time. I was too afraid of my illness and that was holding me back from doing things I loved. The same thing goes for people at group who suffer from anxiety attacks. They are so worried about their anxiety attacks that it gives them anxiety and causes them to have anxiety attacks.
Sometimes the answer is to simply accept our illness. We have it and it's not going anywhere. But what we do with our lives is up to us, not our illness. Eventually I decided to just say the hell with it and go to a baseball game. You want to know what happened?
My mind came up with delusions and irrational stories for the things that were going on around me and it overwhelmed me.
It happened. I knew it would happen and in happened. You know what I did after that? I went to more baseball games.
My illness isn't going anywhere. MY delusions and irrational thoughts aren't going anywhere. THey're going to happen no matter what and I had to decide to live in fear of them or accept them for what they are and go on living my life.
So I live my life.
My delusions pop into my head all the time, but what I realized is they're nothing I have to fear, and they're nothing that needs to hold me back from doing the things I want to do. Worrying about what my illness ss going to do to me is something that I just don't want to do anymore. I know what it is going to do to me. I don't fear it, I just accept it. Once I started accepting it I learned to live with it.
Now I have the confidence in myself that I need to have to live with this illness. I Know that when my delusions and irrational thoughts happen, I just need to recognize them for what they are and be annoyed by them, but I don't get give them any power over me. I know what they are now and I just have to train msyelf to identify them when they happen and not let them dominate my life.
I'm learned to live with my delusions and irrational thoughts because of two things: my medication and training my mind. The medication gives me the ability to train my mind. That's the thing, it doesn't make my delusions go away--it never will. What it does it let me identify them when they happen and not let them dominate my mind like they did when I wasn't on medication.
So now I do whatever I want to do and know that my illness will always be there and it will pop up from time to time, but when it happens I know what is happening and I don't let it ruin whatever it is I'm doing. It's just like an annoying friend that follows me around constantly jabbering in my ear. It's annoying but it's not going to kill me and I'm not going to make a scene over it.
Sometiems I have to remove myself from a situation for a few mintues to clear my head, but going into things I know that I might have to do that if things get too much for me to take, and I tell myself that that's Ok. No one ever notices when I step away for a little bit and if they do it's not like they care--they're just happy I'm out doing what I want to be doing and not living my life in my room afraid of what will happen to me if I go out into the world.
I can't be afraid of my illness and whether or not it's going to pop up if I try to go out and do something in the world. I don't go out hoping it doesn't come up. If it doesn't, that's great--and a lot of the time it doesn't come up. But I go out in the world expecting it to happen so when it does, I'm ready for it. Nothing has ever happened that has made me think I was stupid for going out and that I should have known better--that I should have known my illness would ruin something for me. It only has the power to ruin something for me if I let it and if I let myself lose my cool. But I prepare myself for it so I don't lose my cool. And if I have to leave something early, I leave something early. It's not the end of the world and it's way better than sitting at home hating myself and my illness because I can't do the things I want to do.
Don't let your illness hold you back. It is there and it will probably always be there so just know that and don't be afraid of it and let it hold you back. The more experience you have dealing with it on the fly, the easier it gets to deal with it on the fly. But if you never give yourself that experience, then your illness has more power over you than it does when you're out in the world and it does happen to come uut in some way. Just be ready for it and know what you're going to do when it happens. Don't stress out over whether or not it will turn up if you try to go out and do something, just expect it to turn up and figure out what you're going to do when it happens.