There are people who I could hold a mirror up to that would be unable to see their own reflection.
Just because I have a mental illness doesn’t mean I lack insight into my mind, my personality, or my actions. I am very self-aware, and I meet people without a mental illness all the time that don’t possess an ounce of self-awareness. Which leads me to this: Just because you don’t have a mental illness doesn’t mean you are well.
I have written about this before, but it comes up over and over again in my life, so I want to write about it again. I understand people with mood disorders. I understand people with thought disorders. Both have a brain disease that they can’t control and they need to take medication to live the best life they can. They have symptoms of an illness they can’t control and those symptoms usually have to do with their thoughts and moods. They may react to those symptoms and do something that is socially unacceptable, or not nice, or is odd, etc. I get that. They have a brain disease.
But what about people who can control their actions one hundred percent of the time, and choose to be mean, manipulative, hurt other people, shame other people, punish other people, or steal, or lie, or try to make other people think they are better than they actually are. I don’t get these people at all. And what is their excuse?
I know people who try and make everyone believe they are a certain way, (fun loving, accepting, spiritually open, kind, progressive, artistic, etc.) but if you call that person out on anything they will come at you with everything they’ve got. They can’t accept any criticism, because their ego is so fragile. They will try to publicly humiliate you, and try to make everyone else in your circle dislike you. This person would consider themselves mentally well. How is that mentally well?
I know other people that if they are mad at you, they will immediately go for the most vulnerable part of you and say something that is meant to injure you. Again, I don’t understand how that is mentally well.
I know others who consider themselves “good and honest people” who have no problem not correcting a bill where they are charged less than they owe, because they somehow think it is too bad that someone made an error. But if the error is not in their favor, they will bring it to someone’s attention. I consider that “getting away with something” as stealing.
I guess the point of this is, just because someone has a mental illness doesn’t mean they are mean, cruel, manipulative, lack self-awareness, would hurt someone or steal. When put side by side you may find out you don’t stack up as well morally with someone who is considered crazy.
Here’s to looking in the mirror, and occasionally turning it on others to see if they recognize themselves.