I struggled with how I would begin this article because as someone who has lived with depression for most of my life, I am so very careful of expressing my opinions in a way that doesn’t offend those who have depression.
As a serious mental illness, I take how others feel about mental health and depression very seriously.
But something I have definitely noticed is that some people who struggle with mental illness, believe the world owes them pity or that others should automatically know when they are feeling invalidated.
NEWS FLASH: The world owes you nothing and not everyone will know when you are feeling invalidated and they may not value your journey or story the way you do, but that doesn’t mean your story isn’t valuable.
I will give you a perfect example. I go to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) every single Thursday and it is known for providing a whole host of skills on how to deal with emotions. We discuss things such as radical acceptance, validation, invalidation, jugements, distress tolerance, mindfulness and more.
It is truly an intense program that offers some excellent tips on how to handle your emotions.
However, this is just my personal opinion, I find that some of the teachings enable limiting behaviors and because it is built on the notion of not invalidating any emotion, even toxic ones, it gives off the perception that it is ok to live a life where you are always angry, always sad, always resentful and so on and so forth.
But even though these difficult emotions are very real and sometimes having a mental illness makes that difficult to regulate, you do have SOME control over how you react to people’s opinions about you, how you feel about today, and how you will live your life. YOU have some control over your destiny.
Having depression doesn’t mean you are allowed to give up on life and it doesn’t mean everyone should cater to your every need. You have an extremely unfortunate illness, but you still live in a very cruel world where you must live with people who lack understanding and awareness of your condition.
So having this awareness, don’t live your life in a pity party constantly blaming the world for your illness. At some point, you have to say, ok, “Maybe I have a problem with anger, but no one is responsible for that feeling. How can I make this better?”
I learned this the hard way because, in the throws of my illness, I did believe that the world owed me better. I felt entitled to a better life and I hated that others just didn’t get it. But you know what? I learned that even in the hardest of circumstances, life is unfair and that is how it is and the sooner I learned this, the sooner I became better.
I don’t want you going through life angry or feeling sorry for yourself because of your circumstance. I want you to allow it to make you better, stronger and more aware.
Life will throw us curve balls we aren’t ready for. We will get sick, people will die, friends and lovers will leave, and tomorrow might be a bad day.
But guess what?
When it comes down to it, you are responsible for how you get through this. If you are depressed and you have to be on meds, take your medicine, go to therapy, and give yourself time because you WILL get better.
But the world doesn’t owe you anything.
It doesn’t owe you happiness, sympathy, or the support you need. So if you have all of this, be grateful.
So just so you know, you will get through this and when you do, you are responsible for how it all ends.