For a change, let’s talk about the good things that come with mental illness that may not shine through often, but make us unique. YES! I swear they exist, and sometimes those qualities are the very reasons that keep us out of treatment, because we don’t want to lose them. The key (easier said than done) is to aim for healthy and let go of the not -so-great stuff so each day we can try to be a better version of who we are.
- Intense Emotion: Sometimes, and often it all just feels “too much!”, but then other times, isn’t it pretty cool to feel something so strong just like it was new? I can get so excited over simple things just as I can get anxious over seemingly nothing, but when I have those joyful moments, it’s fun.
- Empathy: This skill is special. It hurts, but when we learn to manage the double-edge sword, then it can be amazing for us and those close to us to feel a sense of understanding.
- Passion: “Overwhelmed” is a great way to describe it when emotions are on a roll, but the good news is we don’t have to look far for passion.
- Creativity: Finding our own ways to work within our brains to treat our conditions requires true creativity. I also love to make art and see art.
- Insight & Awareness: We get really good at feeling the ground shake well before the invasion because we have experienced it so many times before. We have real insight into some heavy emotions because of our painful pasts.
- Intelligence: Yep, there are studies that demonstrate a link between higher intelligence and mental illness.
- Compassion: This was not a given for me, but once I practiced, I developed a skill I now use all the time in a positive way. Showing compassion to myself, other people, animals and the earth is special.
- Obsessive thinking/Analysis: Mostly awful, but I think that sometimes the reason I can follow through with a task and not lose interest for a long long time is because of my tendency to latch on to an idea.
- Persistence: We have a lot of practice at not giving up!
- Impulsivity: This one can be dangerous, but when it is harnessed, then impulsivity can become adventure!