“To hell with circumstance I create opportunities” – Bruce Lee

If we want to live a better life and free ourselves from the grips of our illness, sickness, or problems, we have to stop making excuses and blaming our circumstances. We must create the opportunity to live a better life.

Do you ever ask yourself why aren’t I living the life I want?  Why aren’t I living up to my capabilities?

People are often stuck because they continually make excuses, or blame their circumstances for their problems.  Now this certainly isn’t a revolutionary observation.  In fact, it’s made by many people who excel in their lives.  Many of contemporary cultures leading coaches, spiritual leaders and motivational self-improvement gurus.

Generally these leaders have been cautious to address the mental health/illness community.  Understandably this community is sensitive to certain language. People use their illness as a crutch or defense mechanism when confronted with sincere challenges.

I’m embracing the opportunity to call on people living with mental illness and mental health challenges to stop making excuses, or blaming their situation for their struggles. Now I need to clearly define the difference between making excuses and acknowledging or identifying that we might live with a certain “diagnosis”

It’s important to understand how difficult it can be for people to accept their situation. Often denial is so strong.  It can blind us from observing ourselves and our behaviour objectively.

Here are two good examples.

“I live with schizophrenia, anxiety and depression.  Although, at times these things can make my life challenging, I don’t use them as excuses for why I can’t enjoy my life. When my symptoms affect my quality of life, I acknowledge them. I then take the necessary steps to care for myself to reduce the impact of my symptoms and get back to a more balanced place”.

vs

“I live with OCD and bi-polar.  I can’t ever get a job because people don’t understand what it’s like for me.  Our government doesn’t support people with mental illness so there’s no point in me trying anyway. Things will be better once my family understands me and employers realize what I need”.

I believe our perceptions are everything. How we see ourselves and the world around us profoundly affects our quality of life.  Those of us living with mental health/illness challenges are especially vulnerable to the way our minds shape our perceptions.  There are countless examples of people who’ve overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to recovering from mental heath problems or illnesses and who thrive in their daily life.  We should look up to them and learn from them.

We can believe in ourselves, we too can improve our lives, regardless of our “diagnosis”.  The negative itty bitty shitty committee that lives in all our heads isn’t welcome inside our hearts.  It will always be knocking, louder for some than others. The beautiful thing is, if we want it bad enough, we can be the captain of the ship, we can lead our minds, bodies, and souls into health, wellness and peace.

About the Author StartsWithMe_

Starts With Me is a company of ‘Peers’ leading a post-institutional mental health care movement. We create platforms to support gaps in education and services along with empowering families and individuals to increase their capacity for well-being.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s