Due to extremely high anxiety blocking most of my writing skills, the only way I could find to write an answer to today’s prompt in the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge is through freewriting. As such, please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors that may appear, for they are merely part and parcel of this style of writing.
For the record, the post was freewritten between 5:59pm and 6:14pm.
Day 2: How do you feel about your diagnosis?
My feelings toward my diagnosis have changed in the six years since it first came. Back then I was lost; lost to my breakdown, lost to my suicidal desires, lost to self-harm and lost to myself. I had no idea who I was, what had been happening to me or what would become of me. All the years I’d spent hiding my mental health problems from everyone around me had got me nowhere. I was nothing; a broken man with nothing to live for.
But then came the diagnoses. Someone had named what that broken part of me was. It allowed me to look on my life with a different set of eyes and offered me a reason (not an excuse) for my behavior. In essence, my diagnoses provided me a solace, a hope for a future. After all, it’s easier to fight something you can see than something that is invisible.
But things change.
Six years later, I honestly don’t give two hoots about any of my diagnoses; whether it is the bipolar, PTSD or social anxiety. In fact, the only times I ever name them outside of this blog are when I’m completing forms or visiting a new GP or medical professional.
Over the years I’ve learned that they are merely labels. The solace they once gave has become obsolete, lost to a better understanding of myself and a firm belief that no label can define me. The only thing that can provide me with hope for the future is myself, not a DSM approved name-tag.