Enduring the Darkness Part Two: Blurred Lines

In the previous post, I gave a brief background on who I am. I specifically talked about the two biggest parts of who I am. When I was deciding what I wanted today’s blog post to be about, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to have mini series within my blog posts. By that, I mean that I want to have specific “main” topics I discuss and write about, and then have multiple posts within that, that relate to each “main” topic. Furthermore, I would like to set up a schedule where each day I will post about a different topic. This way it’s not the same content over and over, as well as it gives you the reader something new to look forward to everyday. It will also provide you with more information regarding certain subjects I post about, in case some issues aren’t really “your thing”. I am hoping that by providing this, it gives more options to the readers, and expands my audience.

That being said, I would normally not do a continuation on my previous post this close together; however, there was a little more I wanted to discuss before moving on to the next topic. Therefore, I decided to do a part two today, and starting tomorrow, I will introduce the next topic I would like to share with you. I also wanted to tie it together with something school related since it is technically “back to school season”. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to leave any feedback on any of my posts. I would love to interact with my readers.

In my opinion, because mental illness and addiction are such intense, sensitive and complicated matters, it often creates a blurred line effect. Causing us to not be able to be okay with who we are as individuals because of the stigmas that society places on those who suffer from mental illness and addiction. Between what society may deem “normal” and “abnormal”, or “acceptable” and “unacceptable”, it can make it seem impossible to find a place to “fit in”. I know this from personal experience.

I remember when I was in middle school and high school and trying to find what groups I wanted to associate with. Furthermore, because I was coming to a new school (in sixth gradel), I was automatically paired with a “buddy” that was supposed to help me acclimate to my new environment. Now, that I’m a full grown adult and have had a ton of life experience since then, I’ve learned that from a young age we are indirectly directed to associate with specific “types” of individuals. I’m not saying that it is because of this specific experience, I developed mental illness and addiction, I’m simply pointing out that from an early age we are “helped” to “fit” into the norms of society. That if you don’t wear “this”, or look like “that”, then it’s all wrong.

In other words, making friends and associating with people is excellent and extremely important (in my opinion”, but it is not the end all, nor the most important thing in the world. Finding who you are and being comfortable with that is much more important (again, in my opinion). The amount of pressure that is already placed on us as children while in school, to get good grades, and that it’s all about getting into a great college, is already more than enough to cause a person to have a full blown anxiety attack. The whole concept yet alone the thought, of not fitting in with who society indirectly, yet very directly, tells us we should fit in with, well….that’s just asking for trouble.

The blurred lines that are created here, are more common then we probably realize. As a parent myself, I want the best for my daughter. I want her to succeed, always be happy and healthy, and truly love who she is. I am also very aware of the fact that, that isn’t very rational; as she will need to fall sometimes to learn some of the best life lessons, we aren’t all smiles 24/7, and she will make some unhealthy choices in life that I can only hope are nothing too serious and life changing. As her parent, I can help explain some of the mistakes I have made, and help try to point out things to avoid so that she doesn’t have to experience some of the things I have. However, at the end of the day she will make her own decisions, and as her parent I will be there to love her unconditionally no matter what those decisions may result in.

I’m not trying to get into parenting and my opinions on what may or may not be “proper parenting”, because that’s an incredibly controversial subject matter. I am only trying to point out that in my opinion, I think instilling my own personal beliefs based on things I’ve had to go through, as opposed to following what society tells me I need to follow, is the best thing I can do for not only her, but for myself as well.

Society can sometimes blur the lines of right and wrong, and that is where the real trouble can come in. My point for mentioning any of this is because for this year, it’s a fresh start….a new beginning. For this year, I recommend trying to learn to better understand yourself, love who you are, embrace who you are. Do not be embarrassed if you have mental illness, or if you come from a less than perfect past (seriously nobody is perfect). It’s a new beginning, where you can make this your best year yet. Sign up for activities you truly enjoy (even if the “popular kids” aren’t about it). Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions if you don’t understand something in class. Most importantly, do not let the “norms of society” trick you into thinking you’re not great. Seriously the biggest mistake I made while I was in school, was constantly worrying that I wasn’t cool enough, smart enough, pretty enough, all of the above really. Always give it your best and that’s all you can really do. And remember….if anyone tells you you can’t because you suffer from mental illness, or aren’t part of the “in crowd”, or you just really don’t want to follow what everyone else is doing….stay true to YOU!

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