Being Hard On Myself

     Hey! It’s another Saturday evening and no dinner parties to attend or host. I’m fine with that because it’s always nice to have a quiet Saturday evening at home. At this very moment as I am blogging I am sipping on some hot chocolate and kind of watching Lockup: Raw on MSNBC. 

    I will be honest with you at the moment I am frustrated with myself. I’m frustrated with myself because of how I am viewing myself. I view myself as a failure. I view myself this way because of how our society and culture view people with mental illness. American Culture views those who struggle with mental illness as the scum of the earth. Another reason why I view myself as failure is because I am a 30something with barely a high school education and no college education stuck in a dead in job. Come on, how many 30somethings do you know working as a courtesy clerk (bagger) at grocery store for the last 9 years. I just don’t want to go to my 20 year high school reunion in four years and have nothing to show for myself. Yes, I know I’m being hard on myself.

    I know what my therapist would tell me in this situation because I have discussed the above paragraph with her multiple times. She would tell me that many of my classmates didn’t have to fight their asses off to get stable from a mental illness and fight through the pain of a horrific childhood. (Side Note: Only parts of my childhood were horrific.) She would also ask me what my rational or wise mind would say. Diana, my therapist would also point out that many people my age may have a college education but they have not been at the same employer as long as I have.(Side Note: Diana is a pseudonym) I cant argue with that point because many of my friends in my age range haven’t been employed with the same employer as long as I have been with mine.

   I think American culture plays a major role in the stigma of mental illness. As much as I love being an American; the American way is quite frustrating at times. What does have the American Dream really mean? American society focus’s on individualism yet has unspoken rule of what the American dream is. That American Dream is to get an education and graduate from college in hope to land your “dream job” then get married and have children and own your own home

    Anyway, I’m getting off topic. I really want to get a college education. I hope to some day get an education and become a social worker. If you were to ask me what my current “American Dream” is. My response is: “To be able to work full time in a job I enjoy. Preferably in the mental health field starting as a Peer Support Specialist/Counselor. To get off disability. To be able to live in and afford a fare market value apartment. Some day get married and have family. A plus in my “American Dream” would be able to get a degree in Social Work and become a social worker.” I know that someday that part of my “American Dream” will come true.

   I just wish I wasn’t so hard on myself. I know that “normal” people are hard themselves. I also know that they don’t have the everyday struggles of mental illness that I and many other people deal with. Sometimes I wonder if “normal” people would be able to deal with a mental illness. I’m my own worst critic and my own worst enemy but aren’t we all. In my opinion people who struggle with mental illness are tougher on themselves than others because we so desperately strive to be whatever the hell normal is.

   Now that I’ve bored you with my frustrations I’m going to end this blog entry. I know some day that I will be on the career path that I desire. I know one day I will be able to get off of disability. One day I will have my “American Dream.” One day I wont be so hard on myself and with the help of my therapist I will eventually not be so hard on myself or at least not as often.

    Thank you for reading my blog. I am sorry that this one is so long and it seems to be more venting than anything else. I hope that this blog entry helps those who struggle with mental illness that recovery is possible because it is possible and you are not alone in your struggles. Now I’m going to end this entry and put my full attention in watching Lockup: Raw on MSNBC. Have good evening all. I hope to blog tomorrow before I go to work.

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3 responses to “Being Hard On Myself

  1. Living independently, being employed, and holding down a job with the same employer for nine years ARE MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS.

    The USA is not alone in stigmatizing mental illness. No doubt there are countries where treatment of the mentally ill is far worse. That is not to say we as a country and as a culture don’t have room for improvement.

    By all means pursue YOUR DREAMS because they are YOUR DREAMS, not the American Dream.

    STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP!!! Negative self-talk is extremely self-defeating and does not help you cope. Rewrite those negative thoughts. Reframe your negative experiences (childhood abuse). YOU ARE A SURVIVOR. Bravo! Congratulate yourself on what you have and what you continue to achieve.

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