I suffer from a deep sense of insecurity.
For some this may seem impossible. For others this may seem obvious.
I have gone through extensive psychological treatment for depression and anxiety three separate times in my life. I have suffered with thoughts of (and even an attempt at) suicide. I know that these demons I face speak nothing but lies but each day it is a battle I face that few know about. Each day I walk out on the battlefield with my armor and wage a war against an enemy unseen.
There is still a deep stigma in this country regarding mental illness.
Each day I get up and talk myself into my day. I have been on different medications to help my brain function like “normal” people and eventually I weaned myself off those medications. I felt like they definitely helped with the ups and downs but I was so flat-lined emotionally that I almost felt devoid of emotion and I didn’t want to live like that forever. This doesn’t mean they’re not a useful tool, just that at this point in my life I’m not in a place where I need them.
My insecurity usually rears its ugly head in the form of jealousy or intense perfectionism.
It’s like I have this default setting in my mainframe that causes despair instead of happiness. For example, I see the relationship my sisters share with each other and instead of feeling so happy that they have such a great connection my default reaction is sadness because I don’t feel that sense of closeness. I read into things way more than I should because my brain is wired to immediately assume that there is something wrong with me.
It’s quite difficult to manage each day. It’s like I have a person that follows me around and whispers in my ear: “you’re not good enough,” “no one appreciates you,” “other people are more fun,” “you’re not perfect enough,” “no one cares what you have to say.”
So, each time I hear those voices I have to come back with a different set of voices. I tell myself (much like Stuart Smalley) that I am wonderful and kind and generous and loving and if people don’t see that then it is their loss.
Thankfully my time in therapy has armed me with the tools needed to combat this war I fight every day. In addition, I have the love of my heavenly father to guide me throughout my daily life. With His love I am able to face each day. Some are better than others but I know that this world is sinful and broken and is not easy. I know that my life is to be a gift to others and that helps me to make it through each day.
There are others, however, that do not know this truth.
There are others who fight this battle each day without the armor needed to be successful. This war is a war that cannot be fought alone. Even with the full armor of God I still struggle every day. Every. Day. This is a battle that will never be finished and I think it’s hard for people to understand. It is hard for people who have “normal” working brains to comprehend these demons faced by those who suffer with these challenges.
I am a healthy thriving and prosperous 34 year old. I have a wonderful husband who loves me for who I am (“warts and all”) and I have family and friends that love me the best way they know how. I am hard to manage. I can be difficult and isolating but I have a support system that helps to make each day better.
There are some, like Pastor Rick Warren’s son who recently committed suicide, where even knowing they are loved by God is not enough to help them fight the battle. There are some folks, like the sad man who unleashed his displaced anger on the folks in Newtown, who seem normal enough but deep down inside they wage a battle unseen. There are others who are so isolated that they never get the help they so desperately need.
People are flawed. People are sinful in nature. People are selfish and jealous and insecure. People make mistakes. People need help.
I watch the news coverage of the debates on the Second Amendment and the debates on Health Care and the state of Public Assistance in this country and I wonder why people don’t understand the root cause of all these “issues” and how putting a band-aid on a gaping wound will not fix the problem.
I think the common denominator is people and I believe that people are very hard to “manage.” Therefore it is easier to pass laws that “pass the buck.” It is easier to create legislation that looks good rather than deal with the issues at large.
How do we regulate people? How can we address these issues at their core instead of glossing over the subject? Mental Health is not addressed significantly nor is it supported fully in this country. I have a very good state-sponsored PPO and it still only covers 75% of mental health costs. When psychologists and psychiatrists charge a minimum of $100 a session I’m having to come out of pocket $25 each time. Considering that it takes months if not years to deal with these deeply embedded issues the cost of addressing mental health is too expensive for the average individual.
However it is far more expensive for the entire nation when it’s not addressed properly.
In addition, we know that it’s virtually impossible to regulate people in any other aspect, let alone mental health. Our health care costs are so expensive because people are free to eat unhealthily and to destroy their body with tobacco use and various other vices.
Because we cannot force people to make smarter decisions we have to enact legislation that forces everyone to chip in to cover the costs associated with these poor decision makers. What other choice do we have? Where do we go from here?
I’ve mentioned before that we cannot legislate morality. We cannot force people to behave the way we wish. When abortions were illegal it just pushed them to back alleys with rusty coat-hangers. Throughout prohibition alcohol was controlled by by bootleggers and contributed to a rise in mobsters and gangs who controlled our country so negatively. We have a zero-tolerance for drugs in this country and yet drug abuse is rampant.
So what is my point? Why do I feel the need to share my thoughts today?
Because I’ve been having a rough time lately (for no real reason except that this happens sometimes) and I felt like these things were weighing on my mind. Sharing is one of the best ways to help ourselves overcome our demons. Sometimes just voicing our concerns out loud can help us to recognize the bigger picture and the more powerful response.
I hope that my thoughts today help to trigger some deeper thoughts for you today. I hope that you read this and feel inspired toward action. I am but just one person. Together everyone achieves more. Please help bring some positive change to this world.
Will you make a difference today?