Saturday, May 8, 2010

This Became My Truth

This was my "aha" moment 2.5 years ago...."If "mental" is thought. And "illness" is sick. That means that I can choose to learn how to recognize the thoughts that are making me feel sick...and change.

This was the turning point for me.

This became my truth.

For fifteen years I had believed that I "felt bad" because I had some hidden, mysterious "disease" or "illness" that was causing the emotional instability, the physical exhaustion and numerous complaints like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, severe anxiety to the point of getting a new label - "agoraphobic".

But even though the sun was shining, my kids were doing well, I had no life drama going on outside of me - I still felt like hell.

I sat there in my car because I was so full of anxiety that I couldn't go anywhere near people and tried to think through this situation rationally.

I had a new therapist who had set a clear boundary with me and had said very directly that as much as she wished she could "fix" me....that she couldn't.

It was up to me to make my life what I wanted it to be.


Yet awesome.

For the first time in my career as a "consumer" of mental health services someone was telling me there was a solution besides more "meds".

That I held the key to the life I wanted.

Within myself.

And this was the moment I stood at the top of that mountain, tears streaming down my face, my body trembling in fear...

And leaned forward into the wind

and knew

that something would be there for me to stand on or that I would


Q: What is your truth? Where does your power come from? What is it that you hang your hope on for a better tomorrow?


Stacy said...

I think I'm slowly but surely coming to the realization that it's up to me to change my life to what I want it to be too. It takes some time and courage to comet to that point in therapy. Two steps forward, one step back kind of process.

Susan said...

You are absolutely right, Stacy; it is a process not an event...a journey not a destination.

This is the kind of insight and awareness that empowered me yet it was just as you describe - 2 steps forward one step back.

For me, it began with gentle self awareness of where I was - this is where "symptoms" came in handy..

It was learning about what was the healthy opposite and then the practice to make it a long lasting change from the inside - then the outside began to change.

w00t! Love your insightful comment!

(dog is climbing onto laptop keyboard asking to go out - see you later!)

Kristin said...

Like everything difficult we do in our lives, there often has to be a bit of blind faith that launches us off the edge. My daughter stops fighting and lets the illness push her down the hill. But, to heal, it requires fighting and scrambling to the top to change the outcome and it is uncomfortable. My daughter got stuck at exactly that point. And, I don't think she is alone. It is easy to make some strides with meds and therapy, but the work is long and hard and she falls down the hill, again.
There is no directing my daughter to dig deep and find the strength to heal herself.
Your blog post is strong and beautiful. I love the imagery you use.
xx kris

Susan said...

Thanks Kris for your kind words! I'm glad you stopped by to introduce yourself! It's hard to be patient when someone we love is struggling....

I'm glad you stopped by, Kris- have a great week!

Suzanne said...

My “Aha” came when I read a book about addiction to help my son. "All of a sudden it hit me. I had allowed the "condition", the "treatment" to become my "addiction". I used it as a crutch, an EZ Pass to avoid growing, changing, taking responsibility for myself, and finally healing.

I created my own 12 step plan; without handing over my will and power to a higher power, because I found that in myself. A wonderful female minister (who had strong leanings towards Eastern Philosophy) told me she could see the flame burning within me. I used those words and let that dim little flame turn into a fire, burning down all the garbage I had been fed for too many years. Within two years I was in full recovery from my emotional baggage and the damage years off trying to place me into a box, the same as all the others that walked in and out of one doctor's office were packaged in, with a ribbon tightly wrapped around it, so the truth could not escape."

Hyacinth said...

"For the first time in my career as a 'consumer' of mental health services someone was telling me there was a solution besides more 'meds'.
That I held the key to the life I wanted.
Within myself." Susan Smith
Cheers to finding your personal power!

Susan said...

" I had allowed the "condition", the "treatment" to become my "addiction".

Well said, Suzzane! This is it in a nutshell! And the fire burns bright, the passion is powerful and I'm on board with you!

So glad to have met you and looking forward to getting to know you!


Susan said...

Thank you, Hyacinth!

Hyacinth said...

so the treatment and the condition becomes an addiction in itself. . . interesting revealation.