“You cannot conquer what you won’t confront.”
I came across this quote in recent news, discovering it comes from a variety of sources, some religious, others secular, all relaying the same message, the meaning relevant to all: we, either as individuals or as a collective, must confront our challenges to bring about effective change.
As people with mental illness, conquering aspects of our disorders is simply vital not only getting well, thriving, and in some cases, actually surviving. We must look at overcoming our own barriers to those goals, learning fundamentals such as acceptance, making radical lifestyle changes, adopting coping and management skills, and giving ourselves time to adapt and recover. It’s impossible to do all of these things if we don’t confront our illness in the first place. For me, when I was at last diagnosed 12 years ago, the heated discussion between me and my mind went something like this:
“F*@%k! You ARE crazy! I knew it!” I said.
“uh…,” said my mind, spinning, sobbing. “do you have to be so mean?”
“Do YOU have to be so damn nuts? Do YOU have to be hard on ME? I hate you. I HATE you! What would you have me do!?” I yelled.
“help me” my mind whispered.
“Then let me stand up to the sick parts. We can stick it, hard, to the sick parts. I’ll try to forgive you if you’re in?”
“i’ll try then. i’ve been trying…”
And so we began. I confronted, again and again, my mind. My own responsibilities. My management of the disease. My abilities. What I had to let go. What I could let be.
I had to look myself in the face and decide who I was again. For years.
From there I had to figure out how to confront my doctors and treatment plans. My family. My friends. My co-workers. The public. The stigma.
face up to and deal with (a problem or difficult situation)
Confront (in this instance) doesn’t mean to pick a fight or to get into someone’s face. It means to address an issue and get it taken care of, whether within yourself or with others. With bipolar or other mental disorders, it’s imperative that we confront our illness to hope for recovery.
I confront my bipolar every day. I confront my behavior every day. I ask my mind:
“How you doin’?”
My hope is that my mind comes back with a capital letter to start,
“I’m doing OK today. You?”
And I say,
“All right. Can we teach anything to anyone? Anything to confront? Can we offer any gifts?” I ask.
“We can try,” answers my mind.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community