Explanation and Apology
For some reason, when I started this challenge, I didn’t go through the list of daily challenges. If honest, and I do try to be honest in life generally and especially in my blogging, I was looking for inspiration to get back into blogging and undertaking this challenge seemed like a good idea.
That having been said, I did anticipate that some questions/subjects would be extremely difficult for me to write about and, guess what? This one most certainly is.
My difficulty stems from three main areas…
In truth some things I remember very clearly. Other things it seems are more like vague memories – and their vagueness reduces my confidence in them. And yet other things I remember with clarity but struggle to know when they actually happened.
Secondly, there is the whole question of other people’s feelings. I am acutely aware that for me to share some of the things which have happened in my life and which have affected my mental health I would have to share things which would bring discomfort or even distress to certain people – especially my family. This therefore means that I have to be very careful in what I share and how.
Something which I personally strive to avoid, where possible, and which, I personally believe to be more harmful to ourselves than to the person or people with whom we may have cause bitter or resentful.
And lastly, and just as importantly, there is the whole question of guilt and forgiveness.
In truth, and bearing in mind my previous reservations, I just don’t want to get into finger pointing or indeed causing any further suffering to those who have been guilty of causing me hurt or damage. Their responsibilities and indeed their guilt in this respect is for them to deal with. But my forgiveness of said hurts or suffering is very clearly my responsibility and whilst the damage and indeed some of the scars (visible or invisible) may remain, I simply don’t wish to be a prisoner to any anger or indeed their actions any more.
For all of the above reasons, I have therefore decided to respectfully opt out of answering this question in any great detail. And for that same reason, when compiling timelines for previous posts in this challenge I was very selective as to what events I included within them.
My faith would of course be one of the greatest of these and is in the main (see below) a great positive and strength giver.
And listing these would indeed be very easy and quite a pleasure. But then this brings me to a certain important reality which is often attached to this very subject and one which is, I think very worth while mentioning here. And that is the whole question of ‘dualities‘ and ‘perceptions and perspectives.
‘Dualities’ and ‘Perceptions and Perspectives’
Events can often have dual or even multiple outcomes. For example, things which may at first seem wonderful can lead to tragedy and things which can at first seem tragic can lead to the most wonderful of benefits or outcomes.
‘Perceptions and Perspectives’
At times linked to the above, one of the strangest and often the most harmful aspects of my mental illness, and I am sure that I am not the only one who experiences this, is the way my varying levels of mental health can generate differing and often opposing perceptions and perspectives of something.
Things which I will naturally see as having a positive effect or a benefit when my mental health is fairly good can soon become a complete negative when my mental health (and especially the association depression) gets really bad.
One example of this, and in sharing this I sincerely hope that I don’t offend anyone is in respect of my children.
Having children is, without doubt, one of the greatest blessings in life but when my mental health gets really bad it twists things. That beautiful, wonderful and inspiring blessing can be twisted into harmful thought patterns such as “they would be better off without me” or ‘what if I hurt them?’ or ‘what if I pass on my mental illness?’ or ‘look at me, I am just a burden to them.’
This twisting, this distortion or corruption can be very difficult for folk who do not suffer from depression (or poor mental health) to understand. And it can be extremely difficult for the loved ones of those who experience it.
But trust me it is a very real and very harmful and disruptive aspect of some mental illnesses. And let’s be very real and open about this, not only does it corrupt or distort our perspectives and perceptions but it can also rob us of all hope.
So there you have it. My answer – for what it is worth – to today’s challenge. I know it is probably not what some people may have expected but I do hope that it will at least prove informative and/or beneficial to some.