I was having a conversation with my mom last night, and she reminded me of how I used to be a social butterfly.. uninhibited and unafraid of what people could do to me. Maybe that was because I had the child-like faith that we all seem to start out with and I believed that no matter what happened to me I would still be loved and appreciated… and I would still have fun. I was confident in who I was.
Of course now as a grown woman I have allowed disappointment, lies, pain, and abuse to severely corrupt that uninhibited and unafraid person I used to be. I mean being in social situations gives me an anxiety that I don’t like to deal with… to say the least (Who likes that?).
I mean seriously, I’ve never withdrawn so much in my life and at first I thought it was the safest thing to do. It wasn’t until recently… last night actually that I was reminded not to fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. We were made with the ability to recover from a lot of harsh treatment (we can ALWAYS recover and get stronger), and we were blessed with people who will give us a soft place to land if ever we are in trouble.
With growth, wisdom, patience, discernment, and true love I can go back to having that child-like faith and yet be wise enough to see red flags in people without being afraid of them.
I prayed for wisdom & discernment last night and this is what I’m thinking about this morning…
“Run away from the next person who claims to like genuineness yet refuses to be so themselves. And run fast.”
ESPECIALLY if you are living with mental illness because in healthy environments people like us are encouraged to be honest and genuine about what we struggle with. It is a horrible thing to deal with… being honest and genuine with someone yet having them not reciprocate that. But being both of these things tends to expose anyone who is the opposite because (as someone helped me discover recently) real situations expose fake people. Every time.
Now I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone with mental illness/mood disorders, but I know for me that invites anxiety, depressive episodes (days of circular thinking/crying/anger/numbness/lack of sleep), and thoughts of regression. And I should never allow anyone or anything to send me into such a tailspin that I lose myself and withdraw more.
I know that people looking to be accepted for who they are might get caught up in believing that how people treat them is a reflection of them… or they get treated differently or poorly because of who they are or what mental illness/disorder they have… or thinking that they will be discarded when someone better who doesn’t have a mental illness comes along. But we cannot ever entertain those lies. It really can mean life or death… and we were mean to live.
There is so much power, respect, and bravery in being honest and genuine…. in being the beautiful person that you are and being unapologetic about it. If people leave because of that it is THEIR loss.
I say this with more conviction than I ever have… NEVER fear those who can kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Stay strong, survivors.