Now for part 2. I don’t know how long this will end up being; I may just feel it’s finished—for now— at 300 words. We will see. Before you read this make sure you read part 1 just to get an idea of what I’m talking about…
I want to go back to what I said in part 1 about people turning the things they don’t understand into jokes. We are all guilty of this— and it’s okay to a certain point. There comes a time when your jokes start to catch the attention of the people around you. Your constant nitpicking of anyone who acts the least bit different can’t be ignored forever. Once the right people do take notice of your behavior they have two options: they can get defensive and angry, or they can try to explain the situation in a calm way.
The first option is usually the one most go with. That’s only because it usually takes awhile to say something in the first place— so by the time you do, you’re already so pissed off from listening to them for so long that you just tell them exactly how you feel. I think it’s sometimes okay to react this way. Most of the time, when someone is laughing at another’s actions they don’t even see why it’s wrong— so it takes another person getting pissed off and snapping at them in order to draw a little attention to their behavior.
A lot of the time the first option may actually be the best option. Showing raw emotion in a moment where you feel like you’re being picked apart may be the only way to show a person that they are being harmful.
The second option is always worth a shot, though. Real emotion doesn’t always trigger an oh crap, I guess the way I’m acting is actually hurting someone reaction. So I guess you can’t ever avoid having to explain yourself— it’s just part of the package when you have a mental illness. I’d say that having to explain yourself isn’t the bad part, the bad part is feeling so misunderstood that you even have to explain yourself in the first place.
But I guess it’s always going to be that way. A lot of people have their beliefs and there is no changing them; and those kind of people are my least favorite kind of people. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of not expanding my mind. Just sticking to one way of thinking sounds so boring— and hard. The amount of people you end up pushing away—because you’re unwilling to even try and understand them— is not worth it at all.
I think mental illnesses are a peak inside the power the brain actually holds; the way it causes you to feel differently and see the world in a different, manipulated way. Hell yeah, it’s scary. But I also think having a mental illness— regardless of how shitty and useless it can make you feel— should empower you. You’re a different kind of different. Sure, it makes life harder, but you see the world around you in a completely different way than most. That doesn’t mean it’s fun, or it’s something other people should wish for. I would never hope for someone else what I’ve had to go through in the last ten years. That doesn’t take away my gratitude for having to go through, and continue to go through the journey of life with mental illness.
So, whatever kind of journey you are experiencing with life, try to understand that not everyone is going through the same thing. You may see a crowd of people and feel annoyed that you have to walk through it, whereas someone else may see that crowd and have to do everything in their power not to have a panic attack. Just try to remember that.