The Two Sides of My Mental Health

There are two sides to every coin. But every coin has its own price.

This is mine:

One side of my coin is that I know I am not “crazy.” I know I am fully capable of keeping a job and going to school. I can comprehend and articulate things. I can help people who are struggling emotionally. I can save people from dying by suicide because I understand. I believe in myself. I am hopeful and excited about life. I care about my mental and physical health. On this side of the coin is logic, understanding, sense of achievement and being a “healthy” productive adult.

On the other side of the same coin, I harm myself, I attempt suicide, I believe I am worthless and I am full of traumatized emotions that cause me to panic and fright. I believe I will never accomplish anything, I believe that no one can love me, I am not worthy and I am alone in the world. This side of the coin is all emotional thinking, not rational, not realistic and not “healthy” adult thinking.

When I am on the painful/emotional side, I try to remember the other side of the coin. That side of being “healthy” and goal oriented. Remembering to not believe the negative feelings. Believing that I will overcome this pain, believing that I have a purpose in the world. But as much as I try to remember and practice the skills that keep me healthy, I get lost and overwhelmed. When I harm myself with physical pain I am able to snap back to the reality that I am capable of handling my emotions in a healthy way, but that reality/feeling does not last long because I get overwhelmed when I feel scary emotions, such as love, forgiveness, motivation, that feeling of happiness. Those feelings make me feel uncomfortable because I never had them growing up.

One of my problems is that I can be so lost in the painful emotional side that I have no idea what I am feeling. Years of flipping to one side of the coin to the other, I can see a pattern. One moment that pattern motivates me, reminds me that I need to have patience to heal. The other it tears me down, makes me feel hopeless. But then on the other side I feel like it’s a pattern I can’t stop. I feel so tired and drained of all this back-and-forth. I could really use some rest.

I understand that every person on the planet feels emotional and logical. I know that I’m no different than anyone else. I also know that I am not some special case, and that I’m not different from other people. I understand there’s hope for people with the same suffering as me.

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But I need you to understand that knowing all of these things does not make it any easier or any more real. I also know I’m only 21 and I don’t know what life is all about and I know that I have many years to figure it out and to heal from my emotional wounds from my past. But to be honest, I am a person — and all I have ever know is pain, abandonment, trauma, loss and loneliness. I never lived a childhood, I never got to play with kids my age. When I did, I was never on the same mental level as they were, so I felt alone. I never had a place to call my home, I was left on my own. The times I should’ve had guidance, protection and love, an opportunity to learn that the world is not a bad place. I know there has to be good times but I do not remember any of them. Growing up, I always said to myself that it will get better when I become an adult. I will know how to manage everything that I’m feeling, I will know how to cope. But now I am an adult and all I still see is the same pain and suffering that I spent my childhood running from. But this time, there is not another adult to blame. I am an adult now.

My dad has told me my whole life to grow up, stop playing the victim and take responsibility for my behaviors. But what he never understood is that I can’t grow up because I never had a childhood in the first place. I grew up with this fantasy that I would be a kid all over again with a mom and dad. A life with stability and predictability. All those years in foster care I always held on to that thought. The thought of waking up and having a life with healthy parental guidance. It hurts to realize that it was all just a fairy tale dream. I do not want to accept that my childhood was robbed, but at the same time I want to let go of the devastation from my childhood past. I understand both sides of the coin, but both sides has cost me pain.

The painful cycle of my childhood was caused by hands of other people. What I’ve come to realize is, I am repeating the painful cycle at my own hands.

Can you relate? Let Cory know in the comments below.

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