At some point in your life you have probably looked at yourself in the mirror, fixated on the unrecognizable image staring back at you, preoccupied and possibly dazed, you whisper to the world, “why me?” “Why me” is most often expressed at a time when you are left trying to understand why you have been put into a difficult situation, or why something bad has happened to you. “Why me” limits your sense of hope and control and leaves you with more questions than answers causing extra unnecessary exhaustion while trying to balance your thoughts.
Throughout my journey I have subconsciously found myself in front of that mirror too many times to count, fixated on the unrecognizable image staring back at me, preoccupied and dazed, whispering to the world, “why me?” When looking in that mirror the most overwhelming emotion that comes to mind is how much I miss the person I used to be. It is met with significant and intense pain, sadness and heartache as I have had to learn how to accept my fate for what it is because resistance and denial only deepen the wounds.
Acceptance of any kind can often be unfair, sometimes difficult and many times extremely challenging or downright impossible. Learning to accept that I have a Mental Illness has been met with a great deal of opposition and a lot of trial and error. It has taken on so many different faces as I have had to confront it head on and figure out how to acclimatize to it. As I have been working toward my mental wellness, I have discovered many stumbling blocks along the way, and of late, finding myself moving two steps forward only to be quickly taken back three more.
Even though I have been able to accept the path in which I have been ushered down, I truly have given up on the hope that one day I will have some extraordinary metamorphosis or peace of mind. It is difficult to accept something that is so taboo and stigmatized, but it’s a part of me, a part of who I am now. Like it or not, this is my battle to win or lose, and with or without acceptance of it, I am the only person in charge of my own fate. I know I cannot change the past or what has happened to me, I just need to play the cards in which I have been dealt. So for now this is my acceptance.
In order to completely accept the journey I am on, I have begun to examine deep down inside myself. I am trying to picture a reinvented future self and having to find the patience to do so knowing that it will be a slow, painful insight. I have had to see things for what they really are, as inconceivable as they may seem. I have also had to figure out and understand what works and what doesn’t work as my resources have become more and more of a challenge. I know that a huge part of finding acceptance within is by surrounding myself with supportive, genuine people who can and do embrace all of me. I need to be honest with myself and recognize that I cannot change the past, but most of all I need to learn how to stop punishing my present self.
So next time I find myself standing in front of that mirror, fixated on the unrecognizable image staring back at me, preoccupied and dazed, whispering to the world, “why me?”, I will try to see the more favourable part of my journey. I will think about the acceptance I have given to others as well, by sharing my story over the past year, showing the real me, educating others who may be struggling themselves or have a loved one who is struggling to find their acceptance. I will know that by learning to accept my mental illness, I am helping to end the stigma and in doing so I may even begin to recognize my purpose in this life. They say that things happen for a reason, so maybe next time I stare at myself in that mirror instead of whispering to the world, “why me?”, maybe the best way to find acceptance within me is to instead shout out to the world, “WHY NOT ME?”