So many times, I have heard people say, and even said myself, many years ago, “I am OCD”, “I am ADHD”, or “I am ADD”.
No you are NOT! you may be afflicted with these disorders, but you are not them, and they are not you.
Many people, I have found, enjoy, the idea that they have something unique about them that perhaps others do not, and therefore, they use, almost as a badge of honor, the condition they have.
An individual who identifies so closely with their illness, is far more difficult to treat that one who has kept a distance between themselves and the particular affliction. And it’s not just addicts, it’s diabetics as well.
“I am Diabetic.” But they aren’t, they simply have it.
Identifying too closely with an affliction that we have, stops us from being able to see ourselves as individuals, it only allows us to see ourselves as a disease.
We are not our diseases.
We are people; people with issues, people with problems, people who are confined by our weak human forms. And, I am speaking of non addicts, non diabetics, and people afflicted only with the disease of being human, doomed to die.
So what do we do when we have a condition that makes us special, and different from most people. Mental illness is not a curse, yet it does not define us either.
The vast majority of the great artists, writers, sculptures, and great thinkers of the world have been afflicted with mental illness.
They did not let it define who they were, but did learn to use it to help shape what they did.
They did not let it affect the ageless impacts that their creations made on the world.