I see a lot of people today get upset when things don’t turn out the way they “plan”; we have all had days like that–all you want to do is go to sleep and start over. I am the last to judge; however, I will be the first to remind my fellow comrades in this journey we call human life–“PLAN” is a four-lettered word.
For those who are not familiar with this old saying, which I haven’t done any official research into where it all started, (don’t think it necessary anyways), it basically gives whatever the word is a negative connotation meaning that it can bring about bad luck; therefore, a person shouldn’t use the word. Another interpretation that is often given is that the four lettered word is “dirty” or obscene and we need to keep a tight restraint on the usage of that particular type of language for it can start fights and wars….
So looking at the word “Plan” and how people often are told we need here in America to plan our life, this gives people with mental illnesses, myself included, a big knee-jerk reaction…only difference is now instead of using the word “PLAN” the code name is “GOAL” (notice, another four-lettered word!!!) And guess what?
When we miss a “goal”, we often start this internal war within ourselves, beating ourselves up and calling ourselves failures. Why do people with mental illnesses (like myself) say this is even harder on us that the average Joe? I can wake up in the morning and set a goal to do just two things. Say for example: dishes at night and putting flea medicine on my cat at the vets.
Well, here comes the first of the month. Which for most disabled people mean all our money in one lump sum for the month, except for food stamps, some get them the 5th others the 10th and others the 1st…I get mine the 10th and am glad I do. So I start writing lists, paying bills, going to the grocery store, and putting everything in its proper place…then all tired and exhausted I go one more time out to the vet. By the time I get back, my dishes remain dirty until sometime the next day.
Do I have a meltdown about it the next morning? To be honest, I used to. I would be paranoid that a neighbor may come over to my house and start to think: “What a slob! Look at all those dirty dishes piled up.” I felt tortured as if something was terribly wrong with me that I couldn’t do dishes when I “should.”
But no, not any more. I have come to accept the fact that should is a four-letter word incognito. It is a term that many counselors now label under a grouping list of words and thoughts called “stinkin’ thinkin’.”Or another way to classify them is simply negative thinking. Who came up with the “should” standard? Who says I must do dishes every night? Where does it all come from?
In my head.
Because I want to control any and every and all aspects that I can of my life while I am here on Planet Earth.
In many aspects, control is just an illusion that most human beings steadily chase after…they place their trophies on their bookcases, their medals all along one wall, or their ribbons displayed elegantly in some shadow box all as if to brag–HEY I reached my goal!
Yet, where is the award for the individual who listens to their internal demons screaming that something truly bad was happening to their child while they lay trapped and helpless in a mental institution labeled as crazy so that no one would take them seriously.
Where is the award for the mothers whose children are taken from them because the mother is suddenly diagnosed with bi-polar disorder…yes, she may have screamed at the kids every once in a while, but at least she never put any bruises on her kids…and now she’s looked upon as some dangerous villain and her kids get picked up by DHS and DHS hands them back to the father who is a junkie that likes to secretly molest children?
(Warning: Four-letter word approaching…)
I’m telling you, this shit happens in reality right here in the great United States. I’ve heard plenty of horrific tales…yes, some could be considered magnified or delusional (given that most my life I have lived with people that have mental issues); however, some really happened.
Ok. Ok. I’ll stop my rant…got a little excited there. Now, let me see what the topic was at the start of this post. Oh yes. Finding acceptance…
Since I knew I was going to be stuck in the institution for a while, I went on a quest: I wanted answers as to why…why me? I searched for the truth for I felt it had to be something spiritual since the doctors still can’t pinpoint how a person gets schizophrenia.
I started reading some about Buddhism and that religion, then I progressed into chakra therapy or New Age beliefs, then I bought a book on Chinese philosophy called (not the actual, but a rendition of it) the I Ching, then somewhere in between all that, I looked into Wicca and Druidism.
Then last but not least, I asked my father (a preacher) to buy me a good Bible with a concordance in it. I spent a year or more reading and researching in the Bible. Not only did it have a cross-reference concordance in between the verses, but it also had the actual meaning of the Greek or Hebrew words used that were important.
To my surprise, I found several verses of the Bible helped me along my journey towards the acceptance of my son’s death and the fact that I ended his life. Several items that I can’t quote verbatim, but I know are in there were things like this:
- In the Old Testament, God orders all the first-born son’s in each family to be killed by the Angel _________. Why? Because the people were not listening to God’s command to free the slaves. I thought: “What? God killing innocent children? Wow.”
- What the Lord giveth, He can taketh away.
- The entire book of Job-lost his family and possessions, but not his faith. And God allowed it.
- The whole idea of owning your child is ridiculous! Children are blessings from God. Many people place their children first in their lives. That is great for I used to do the same thing; however, after what happened to my son, another verse I kept seeing was that God should be placed as number one. Live for Him and then for your family.
So I started to find a spiritual sense of security by reading the Bible again and applying it to some of my own life’s experiences. Finding acceptance with yourself needs to come first before you run out and try to get liked and accepted by others.
It’s really ironic to me how others will tell a out-right lie, and you know it is, and how it doesn’t bother me anymore. I see past the lie. I see the fear they are holding in check. They may be drunk or on drugs and pop off any answer that 80% of the time is a half-truth or flat lie and that used to make me so angry and mad.
Now, I see a fear. They are scared to be honest. Some of the fear is that I may judge them. I might label them to some extent, but never judge. That is not my place. That is God’s place. Sometimes I do get to talking and people will be so worked up and worried over what others might think…I say honey, God is the only one you have to prove anything to and since He has watched your every move; He knows how recovery can be difficult.
And yes, sometimes I even have to tell myself the very same thing. I am on Abilify 10mg in the morning now and it still makes me want to sleep a bit more. It also makes me a bit more loopy after lunch; yet overall, I feel so much happier and at peace. One more verse from the Bible that I might stumble upon again: Something about if you are a child of God, no amount of poison that the enemy tries to give you will harm you.
I say this to anyone who is considering to stop their medication without talking to their doctor first…unless it’s giving you suicidal or homicidal thoughts and ideas; God will always be there to listen to you rant and then count your tears. Learning acceptance of yourself is an on-going process. Just remember that you ARE special and you are NOT alone. Peace, LaVancia