Welcome to A Life WIth Mental Illness

This is a record of living with mental illness and its effects on all aspects of my life.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Self-Stigmatization

My near-constant message to myself is that I am incapable of work, friendship, fatherhood, marriage - the list goes on - because I am mentally ill. I stigmatize myself, believing that I am too broken, too afraid and too dishonest to be someone other than a weak, narcissistic, crazy man. I live with fear surrounding almost every action, thought and encounter. Doing nothing and believing in only the worst are ways I protect myself. I disconnect because I am afraid of my feelings and this feeds my lethargy, isolation and depression. I am blessed with many qualities and circumstances that promote resilience. Sometimes I trust myself, situations and others enough to live with an ability to move forward, to bounce back from disappointment, sadness and anxiety. Too often, however, I focus only on my faults and mistakes, the hurt I have caused and this is when I cannot act, can do no other than sit and wait, letting my thoughts and feelings run like wild horses breaking free from a corral. But for me this is not freedom. It is a trap I create to confirm my own self-hate. I give up on myself, abdicating any hope for my acting in a positive, good way.