People talk about those with mental illnesses as if that’s everything that they are.
You’re an anorexic, a bulimic, a schizophrenic, depressed, an addict… and it goes on. They label you as one thing, putting you into this little box. All this does it make it seem like it’s everything you are. That choosing to recover means you’ll no longer be anything.
If you’re not anorexic then what are you?
Your mental illness, whatever it may be does not define you. It does not put you in a little box not allowing you to be anything else. The reality of it is, is that it is just one part of you. It’s a part of you that yes takes over your life, but it is still only a part of you. Your mental illness does not determine who you are, you determine who you are.
The bag of chips you had, the cookies you had, the salad you ate for lunch.. those things don’t determine who you are. Those things fuel your body and your mind in order for you to do the things that make you who you are.
In order for us to break the stigma that surrounds mental illness we must first stop putting people into these labels and putting the belief on them that they are their disorder.
People with cancer or diabeties are not labelled based on these illnesses. They are helped. They are sympathized for. They didn’t choose these illneses so it doesn’t define them. Mental Illnesses are not chosen. Mental illnesses need just as much support as any other.
For years I was under the impression that I was my illness. If i chose to recover and get better than I wouldn’t be anyone. I would be nothing.. I would be worse off than I already was. At least with it, I was something.
Having a mental illness is not something that you chose for yourself and it does not define or determine who you are. However, what you choose to do with the hand you’ve been delt with does. Recovery is a choice, recovery will mold you and help you figure out what does define you and what your path is. Your mental illness may always be in the back of your mind, but it will never define you.