Choosing the Road Less Traveled

There comes a time in everyone’s recovery (actually, it can happen many, many times) when a person is stable enough in a moment, to choose (understand how significant the word “choose” is as we Mentally Ill rarely get to “choose”) which road they want to travel when overwhelming circumstances bring about devastating emotions. The roads are thus; Mental Illness or life. (I am not sure what punctuation to use between “thus” and “Mental”. I really need to add a review of punctuation rules to my “To Do” list. But I digress…

The road called Mental Illness is a rough one, as I have described many times before. It means deciding that retreating down the road I most often travel, arriving to a place of nonexistence (hello comfy bed and a comforter pulled up to my eyes!) is the best fight I can put up against an invisible enemy that happens to live within my brain. It means telling myself that, yet again, life has reared its ugly head to knock me down and spit in my face. It means deciding I am not worth fighting for after all.

But today, at this moment at least, I get to choose, and I choose life!

I am at a point in my recovery that, while sitting with my computer upon my lap, I am trying REALLY, TERRIBLY, remarkablY hard to not freak out and hide under the covers, instead choosing to process my emotions through writing. I mean, is it really that big of a deal that I have 18 days to pack and move my belongings when, in the attempt to buy a home, I am trying to get other peoples’ credit misfortunes (incredibly stupid CHOICES!)  off of my credit history which were placed there by mistake in the first place? (Do the credit bureaus not check social security numbers?!) Is it really that big of a deal that my recent car purchase has increased my car insurance premium by over a third? And honestly, is it really that big if a deal that because of other peoples’ unscrupulous actions I have to walk away from my job?

OF COURSE IT IS THAT BIG OF A DEAL!!!

However, I CHOOSE, in this moment, to rise above it! I CHOOSE to let things work themselves out because He (that would be the Big Guy in the Sky) hasn’t let me down yet (even though I often accuse Him of doing just that. Sorry Big Man. I know you understand & forgive me and will continue to do so for the bazillion dumb things I do wrong in the time I have left on Earth.) I CHOOSE to apply my freakin’ expensive therapy skills to my situation and refuse to allow myself to think that just showing up to therapy sessions constitutes an effort to recover. I will have a “Teflon Mind”, letting experiences, feelings, and thoughts come into my mind and slip right out1 (I am a work in progress). When a feeling or thought arises, I will acknowledge it and call a thought just a thought, a feeling just a feeling1 (I am clay to be molded). I will not get caught in content1 (Crap! This is hard, but I’m doing it, darn it!).

I am now off to read (if I can concentrate) or watch television, wait for sleep to visit, and wake up knowing that I have the whole day to work on making choices to better my circumstances. Sleep, do not be a cranky ole’ biddy, taking your time in arriving! =)

If you can choose, choose life.

1 Linehan, Marsha M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

 

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2 thoughts on “Choosing the Road Less Traveled

  1. You said “understand how significant the word “choose” is as we Mentally Ill rarely get to “choose” …but actually you are choosing the whole way through your post. It’s only my opinion, but I believe that people with mental illnesses are choosing constantly. That aside, I don’t envy anyone trying to find and buy a house in three weeks. Wow! Good luck.

    • I guess I should have explained better that some days, I have no choice for a positive, healthy day. Some days, I am so ill that my only choice is to retreat. Depression and unhealthy thinking (schemas) take over and my input has no power. I guess it is sorta like bringing a knife to a fun fight…I choose to fight but have no chance at winning.

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