Labels


I came across this post written by fevers-n-mirrors, and I thought I’d share it with you:

Why are people so obsessed with putting labels on themselves??

Don’t we complain and get angry whenever someone, or society in general, attempts to label us as ‘this’ or ‘that’?
Then why do we do it to ourselves?!?!?!

I mean, I truly can understand how giving a name, a classification, to whatever ‘symptoms’ you’re suffering from, can help you understand what you’re going through better, and in turn, it can help you treat it.

BUT, can such extreme emotions and behaviors really be fully contained under a ‘label?’

As a human being, I know I don’t fit perfectly into any box… you can’t contain me, my life, my emotions, under a label. That’s freaking ridiculous. For every symptom, every emotion I experience, that can be explained by my diagnosis’, or a label someone slaps on me…there’s always something else that just doesn’t fit.

Why? Because I am not that label!!! I’m me… a living and breathing human being… the specifics and driving forces behind my struggles are unique to me… only I exist as me, and that is my label. I am ME!!!!!!

People end up clinging to their labels, to these diagnoses’ that are supposed to explain them, and too often it keeps them from getting better. They won’t seem to let it go. If you only identify yourself with your sickness, or if you identify too strongly with it, you let it become your identity, or too big a part of it. What are you without your identity? NOTHING. You’re nothing. So you keep clinging to it, because if you let it go, when you open your clenched fists, you’re left with nothing to show. NOTHING.

So, you cut… you’re not ‘a cutter’…
So, you have a mental illness… you’re not that mental illness…
So, you have an eating disorder… you are not the eating disorder…

These are labels that describe your struggle… and labels are vague. They are not all-encompassing.

You are not these things. You are not these things. You are not these things.

You are not confined to an existence with them. You are not living a life that will ineviatbly lead to the projected course of whatever you’re struggling with.

Stop looking at yourselves through the filter of these labels.
Start viewing yourselves as an individual who has power over these things.
They are not you, and they do not get to decide the course of your life.
They don’t get to decide on your happiness.
They don’t get to decide your fate.

THEY DON’T NAME YOU!

It’s your choice whether or not you dwell on your disorder.
It’s your choice to immerse yourself in it.
It’s your choice on whether you let it consume you completely.

It’s your choice.
You decide!

Me? I refuse to accept any of these labels.

Recovery Doesn’t Happen All At Once


I recently posted a status on Facebook about how I was frustrated that people kept telling me that if I wasn’t happy with my life, I needed to make a change, when I already AM making a change– I have been in remission for almost a year, and now I’m taking the first step at making my life better. I was frustrated that they seemed to want me to do everything all at once- I’m doing the best that I can, and I wish they realized that. Here’s a message that one of my Facebook friends sent me and allowed me to share with all of you– I thought it might be especially helpful to show to your loved ones.

I am not an expert in anything except for my own life’s difficulties. Let me just say that recovery and reclaiming balance in our lives does not happen in a linear pattern like that of a staircase–stepping up constantly and consistently and predictably. No, rather our recovery comes in waves, some smooth and others radical–but waves no the less.

It is next to impossible for most other people (non-mental illness) to grasp the gravity and depth of our struggle, our tragedies, nor celebrate the milestones of triumphs. We are expected to just become better in the same way we flip a light switch. Of course we know that our light switches are wired slightly different–whether it be bipolar, borderline, schizophrenia, anxiety, or depression.

Because our wiring is different from others, we will live our lives under the spotlight and microscope of others who feel we are not as we should and could be, and carry the expectations that we change as soon as we discover a diagnosis and hit two therapy sessions.

Well, it doesn’t work that way for most of us. We have become who we are because of genetics and our environment which has taken now –how many decades??? While change is certainly possible and recognizably desirable, we still must work hard and long to make the changes at our own pace and in our own ways.

Unfortunately, for many, the recovery process is hindered by the very people who want to see it the most. As we become educated about the illnesses, symptoms, relapse triggers, warning signs, and crisis, it becomes our responsibility to educate our loved ones, family and friends about all these issues as well.

Be strong for yourself, be proud of and for yourself. Be well– you’re worth it.