The Walking Wounded

Not too long ago, when I was struggling with my mental health, I thought I simply didn’t fit in anywhere. I felt like an outcast and a freak. I thought if only I didn’t have mental illness, I’d be okay and I would fit in. I was diagnosed with major depression, PTSD, and dissociative identity disorder. After I healed from all of these issues, I figured life would be “normal” and I’d not suffer so much. Boy was I wrong! I realized I would still struggle with ups and downs. Plus, I’d have to reconstruct my life from the days of going to appointments and just getting by to maintain myself, to actually participating in life.

I wondered, what do I do with myself now? More than that, I realized that we live in a world of wounded people. Many issues which I thought were solely related to mental illness, I learned were my own personality quirks. For example, I’m a sensitive person. I feel emotions deeply. I have an extraordinary amount of compassion for others. I cry easily. These are not symptoms of mental illness! How it translated in my life is that I had to go work extra hard to “get over” my issues. I had to understand, accept, and more importantly love myself.

I’m the same person with struggles but I do bounce back. I may fall down, I get sad but I don’t stay there. I use my coping skills and an arsenal of tools to get myself out of a funk. Learning I am sensitive was deeply profound. I feel others emotions and I react subconsciously to the mood of a room. I didn’t learn it until I healed from mental illness. At first, I thought oh my gosh, I’m just crazy! Yet, I wasn’t. There was nothing unusual or strange about it. In fact, many people are more sensitive to others and their environment than they realize. They’re just not aware of it. I have increased awareness and perception but not in the sense of a psychic. Being sensitive means things that bother someone just a little bit, bothered me a lot! It scarred and broke me into pieces. Again, this is why it’s important to understand why one needs a therapist or psychiatrist.

It’s part of the human race to need assistance at one or another to understand what’s happening to us,and ultimately to heal. It’s ridiculous the stigma out there for people who are suffering with a mental illness. Everyone, whether they’re dealing with a diagnosable illness or not is going through something. We are the walking wounded. We either have an “illness” or have been touched by someone with something that is out of the ordinary. Yet, it is very ordinary! It’s ordinary to be human and to have problems. Some of us have a little more zest and spice, that’s all. We may also need more tenderness, compassion and acceptance in the world.


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