Can I be honest? Every once in a while, especially after a session with Dr. C. I can’t stop thinking about myself… lol.. ok, that sounds odd. But I mean it in the context of who I am and how much about myself that people around me seem to want me to change. I completely agree that because of my mental illness there are things I need to work on changing. Things I need to learn how to do better.. namely regulating my emotions and thinking in a more realistic view…controlling impulsiveness, act not react…. But how much of myself am I going to lose in this process? Sometimes it feels like by the time I am done “fixing” myself, there will be nothing of me left.
Dr. C has tried to help me see that who I am is not my thoughts and emotions; who I am is not dependent upon what I do or what I feel. That “I” am separate from those things… but in my mind that doesn’t make sense to me. They are me, and I am them. I am my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, my experiences.. all these things have built up over a lifetime and have created “me“…. that is how I see it anyways. But his explanation to me is more like this: My emotions, thoughts, experiences are a part of my life and effect me… So just because I am changing the way I may react to a certain situation, or say/ not say things that would be my normal response… I am still being true to me.
I am the person who likes art. I am the person who gives money to the people on the side of the roads because I feel so bad for them. I am the the person who struggles with the highs and lows of intense emotions. I am the person who loves to laugh and throws sarcasm around every other comment.
You are the person who is stubborn enough to not let depression beat you… you are not the judgmental harsh feelings that you feel during a depression or the negative thoughts that you think while depressed, or even desperate things you may do when depressed...
(ok, I will admit, this last one made me stop and think, maybe he is on to something.)
I feel like who I am is conditional on what I feel and what I do. Not only that but other people’s love toward me is always dependent on who I am or what I do. Constancy does not exist and love is not unconditional, at least in my mind.
So here is my old friend trust showing up again in my life. I am trusting that through this process of learning how to manage my Bipolar and Borderline, I will not be losing who I am… that maybe it will even help the real me be able to be revealed a little more easily. Being able to part the curtain in a way… putting the effects of the mental illness to the side and letting me take center stage.