This article taught me a lot, mostly about the importance of letting go of people who really aren’t helpful to you while dealing with mental illness. It’s hard with such people, because often they appear to be the people you think will always be there for you, and that they will understand and love you no matter what. Unfortunately, these people can be extremely toxic while trying to juggle the immense emotional hardship that goes in hand with any illness, mental or not.
I do everything in my power to never use my illness as an excuse. Some days, I may feel horrible, completely worthless, or perhaps just so consumed by emotion that I physically cannot move. Instead of saying “Oh sorry I couldn’t make it, my depression was acting up” I choose to say “Hey, I totally spaced, my bad, let me make it up to you”. Is it a lie? Yes. However, most people are not understanding about how crippling and life altering a mental illness can be, that they see using it as an excuse as a cop out. The idea of excuses and cop outs is one which I will explore later, but it is especially important to note that depression cannot be used as an excuse, even when it is 100% permissible. I dislike the word excuse because of the connotation it has, but would rather like to see it as a reasonable explanation for being incapable of doing something. For those of you that work out, you know that feeling when someone asks you to go for a run just after leg day, and you’re like ‘there is no way in hell that I can possibly move my legs another inch”, my depression hits me like that. It is absurd to ask me to actually get out of bed, because it’s simply too difficult. Now at this point you’re wondering why this is an issue considering I take my pills on a regular basis and follow my doctors instructions to the best of my ability. Let me once again refer back to the earlier analogy. Just because you take a protein supplement or other vitamins to help stimulate muscle recovery after a work out doesn’t mean certain work outs will still hurt like hell, even if its a workout you’ve done before.
The author of the article makes it seem so simple – as if keeping these people at a distance takes minimal effort – but that is simply not true. For me, many of the people who I need to let go of are ones I never thought I would have to, and it’s almost as if the prospect of having to keep them at such a far distance seems more painful than the idea of keeping them close, even if they aren’t the best for me. Some compare this situation to how a victim of domestic abuse simply does not feel like they can leave because the idea of life without their abuser seems worse than taking a beating every now and then. I see this comparison as quite extreme, yet I see the fundamental resemblance and understand how a comparison can be drawn.
The bottom line is, no matter whether you have an illness or not, toxic people have no place in your life, and should either learn that if they continue that way they will be kept at a far distance, or simply get lost if they are unwilling to see their mistakes.
Keep Surviving By Living.