Responsibility, Happiness and Mental Health

One of the hardest and ugliest truths about life is that there is only one person you have control over…and it’s you.

True, you cannot control all circumstances and situations…but you can control your reactions.

Sometimes, things get in the way of staying in control…things like mental illness. But mental illness, is in someways very similar to physical illness.

And in the same way you can choose to ignore physical illness and not treat it, you can do the same with mental illness. And in the same vein not all treatments are the same, and sometimes placebos are enough.

Physical health and mental health are both real…and fragile…and durable…and your own responsibility.

I am talking about adults here BTW…the thing is though, there is a level of shame and stigma, attached to mental illness…possibly in the same way that there was a stigma attached to cancer not so long ago, where upon someone’s passing it was simply said that they passed on after a period of illness.

Taking responsibility for anything is scary…it means that you have to let go of certain levels of security and comfort that can be found in excuses…it means that you start letting go of “but that’s not fair” “it’s not my fault”. And simply start living with the reality of it is being what it is.

And from there, you choose what to make of it. Here mental illness sucks, especially depression. Because it is a fucking liar…and it tells you that everyone is out to get you and that you are worthless and the world would be a better place without you…and a myriad of other bullshit stories, and if you are not careful, you start to believe those lies.

Sometimes, other people inadvertantedly feed those lies…out of desparation out of seeking comfort for their own circumstances…looking for absolution and escapes for there own circumstances.

But the important thing is that they are lies. We are here for a reason…and have to create our own meaning from there.

The truth is…we have no idea why we are born and why some people’s lives are shorter and others longer…there is some other force out in the universe that seems to have determined the amount of time that we have on this planet.

But there is nothing external that will result in happiness. Happiness and optimism are internal states.

And while being in the throes of a depressive episode sucks and it seems as though the world is actually a deep dark pit…when you are in that pit, you have a choice…you can choose to wallow in sadness and misery, or you can acknowledge the darkness…face it, and start looking for a flamethrower to light your way out.

Happiness is a choice.  You are only responsible for one person’s happiness…your own. And if your own joy manages to spread and help other people find happiness that is a fantastic side effect, but it remains a side effect. You cannot enforce happiness on another, hell I don’t even think you can force it on yourself.

All you can do is make the choice…and start taking the first steps in its direction and after that keep walking.

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