Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 11: I Am Not Mentally Ill

I spent 3 years in graduate school studying to become a counselor. I didn't choose to study mental health counseling because I didn't like the idea of pathology and categorizing people with mental illnesses that to me, were just a different way of thinking and viewing and interacting with the world.

I loved my program, well, the things we studied and the assignments. The part I didn't love was the actual JOB- the sitting in an office part. It made me sick literally. I didn't like interacting with the professors or the administration either. That part scared me- the thought of finishing the program, becoming a counselor for decades and ending up like them in that kind of environment. I'm glad that fear is behind me.

Now that I am here at this shelter, I have encountered actual mentally ill people and it startled me quite a bit. I hated that label 'mentally ill' only because most people who don't understand me call me mentally ill. Maybe I was mentally ill at some point because I battled with depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings of hatred for myself.

These feelings stemmed from the fact that I knew I had so much to offer the world and I was frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to give it. I didn't take the traditional path of taking a job and staying at that job until I got a promotion because I just couldn't keep a job like that. Either my bosses hated me because I wouldn't play the office politics game and feel the fear they want me to feel or I got bored and wanted to move on.

Many people said this was selfish and made me unstable. I remember when I left my job as a secretary of a private school to work at a PR firm my parents were upset with me. "You had it MADE!" they said. "You could have stayed there forever and been okay."


Who wants to work a job FOREVER?

Not me!

The thought of it makes me feel anxious and upset.

That's not me!

I am happiest when I am interviewing and writing and celebrating people. I am happiest when I am teaching good habits and exploring people's lives and attitudes. I prosper and have longevity when I do those things, everything else falls away.

I am good at most things. Let me stop lieing, I am GREAT at most things but if it's not fulfilling to me I don't like doing it for long.

I'm not mentally ill, I just see the world differently. Being a BOSS sounds like a better idea to me than retiring from someone's company. I don't understand the FEAR people have of their bosses or losing their jobs or having their bosses dislike them. I don't feel that anyone can hold me back from what is supposed to be mine. I don't have the attitude that most have about life. I don't believe in competition. I don't think I have to fight for anything in life. I feel that I have to show up and do my best and whatever is supposed to be mine will be handed to me. If it's not handed to me then it wasn't meant for me. That's how I feel.

I'm not mentally ill.

I'm just different from most.

I'm hoping my differences will be appreciated one day. I'm hoping they will allow me to eat well and sleep comfortably one day soon.

I'm hoping that my differences, will make a difference one day.


This is beautiful, Te-Erika. I feel so much the same way as you do.

It seems that great minds think alike, Te-Erika! I feel you 100%. We've been taught to go to school, get a "good" job, a house with a white picket fence and "you've made it." The thing is...that dream isn't everybody's dream! That isn't satisfying for everyone. Some people need to explore their full potential. In my book that makes you above average and definitely NOT mental illness. Your day is coming my friend! Keep speaking it into existence! :) xoxo Wishing you all the best. Is there anyway I can send you a donation?


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...