Mental illness is a serious illness and when it’s at its worst, it makes a person struggling with it unable to function. There are many kinds of mental illnesses; some are so severe the person dealing with it may never be able to live a normal life. There are other illnesses that people can reach recovery from and live their lives. Sometimes people use their sickness as an excuse not to get better or to avoid reaching dreams, working a job, living independently, finding love, and so on. The truth is there is no excuse.
I’ve known people who used their mental illness as an excuse to avoid doing things. I met a woman at church who invited me over for dinner. While we were talking, she told me about her mental illness. She went on to tell me because of her illness she couldn’t work. When I asked her how her mental health kept her from working her only answer was. “It’s because I have mental illness.” When I tried to tell her that was no excuse, she didn’t want to hear it. She changed the subject.
I went to a support group that was hosted by a couple. They told me I should quit my job. They tried to tell me because I have an illness of the mind I shouldn’t be working. I told them I wasn’t going to give up my job just because I have an illness. I quit that group. I even had a therapist try to get me on Social Security Disability so I wouldn’t have to work. I’ll admit it’s not easy to work with this sickness, but I find a way. I refuse to let my mental illness keep me from working. I will not hide behind excuses. I refuse to give up just because chemicals are out of balance in my mind, and I refuse to hide behind it.
A lady I know refuses to take the steps towards recovery. She tells everyone she can’t get better. She tells her psychiatrist what medication to put her on and she takes herself off it. She gets people to feel sorry for her. Her illness is her excuse for not getting better and a way to get attention from others. She is preventing herself from getting better. If she listened to her psychiatrist, did the work, and fought to get well she could reach recovery. Her life doesn’t have to be ruled by her sickness. She could take control of it if she allowed the psychiatrist to do his or her job and didn’t search for sympathy. There are other ways to get attention, healthy ways. She is depriving people of getting to know her for the person she is.
I read on an online group about a guy who said because of his illness he could never make his dreams come true. I messaged him there is always a way to make your dreams come true. It may not come easily, and you may have to make detours, but nothing should stand in your way of making your dreams come true.
I’m not the type of person to hide behind excuses. Mental illness makes life harder, but I refuse to let it stand in my way. I have no excuses. There is always a way around my limitations to achieve my goals. Anxiety, stress, and depression have made working as a cashier hard. I’ve had to force myself out of bed while depressed to go to work. I’ve had to go to the lady’s room during a stressful day just to take deep breaths and gather myself to prevent an anxiety attack. There are times where I have had anxiety attacks that made me rush to the bathroom to get sick. I know my limitations and I use coping techniques to keep working.
I don’t hide behind anything. I have a learning disability, I have mental illness, I’ve had multiple surgeries, I have had breast cancer and not once have I let anything stop me from thriving. To me they are not something to hide behind, but a challenge to work around. If there is a way around my challenge, I’ll find it. Yes, my mental illness, my learning disability and other challenges have placed limitations in my way, but that doesn’t stop me. I just find other avenues to work around those limitations to achieve my goals.
Excuses get you nowhere. They leave you lingering in limbo. You are just existing and never achieving. If you want to reach recovery, don’t let your illness be your excuse; let it be the challenge you work around. You can work, you can be loved, you can make your dreams come true, and you can reach recovery, but you must find a way to make it happen. You may have obstacles in your way, but you can find ways around them. Don’t hide; push forward and achieve. No more excuses. Go out there and find the path you need to take to reach recovery and to do much more.
I have worked the same job for twenty-five years, I’ve had short stories published, I have written a book length manuscript, and I am in recovery. I have faced my challenges head on to accomplish all of these. Because I don’t use excuses I stand in the light of success and recovery.