“Maybe I don’t want to be well! Maybe I don’t want to get better!”
I had admitted it to my therapist one session. After a few failed attempts of setting mental health goals that would give me stability, it had become clear to me that a large part of me did not want to heal. I was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I have depression and dissociation. My whole life had centered around who I was a mental health patient. I didn’t have time to finish my education, start a dream career or date. All my energy and attention went to the battle for my mental health. It was my reason but it became my excuse and my copout. If I could snap my fingers and take away all my mental health issues I would lose my identity. I AM A MENTAL HEALTH PATIENT! On the outside I would be ashamed of my mental health status but inside I wouldn’t give it up. It was all I had.
Creating A New Identity
What is a personality?
Oxford Language defines personality as the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.
The gray matters way of creating a new identity is not throwing away the mental health patient title but shrinking it as you amplify other qualities.
Personality Traits Example
Funny Shy Introvert Extrovert Ambivert Outspoken Conservative Reserve Liberal
Think about how you interact with others verses when you’re alone. Are you outspoken or more reserved and why? Do you want to change and why? Is this a positive or negative reason for keeping or changing your traits.
I am a reserved introvert with a dry wit. Being a loner and low self esteem lead me to be a more introverted person but as I got older I was given the opportunity to be more outgoing due to people inviting me to events. Even though I had strengthened my self esteem and had more opportunities to be outgoing and extroverted, I felt more natural being an introverted because people drain me. I always thought that my low self esteem prevented me from liking clubs. I went to a party, bar and a comedy club. I didn’t like it. I also didn’t like being around loud noise or groups. If I did go out I would prefer a museum, zoo, the movies or a quiet restaurant.
I fully accepted my introvert status and have read up what that means and to reserve my energy. Being an introvert has also caused me to be more attentive in taking care of my mental health.
Activities not only are good for mental health but they can build your identity. I have decided to start taking martial arts. At first I struggled because it triggered my insecurities. I doubted my own capability. I would never take up a new hobby because I didn’t think I was smart enough to comprehend the lessons. Being a beginner in martial arts, I became even more aware of my physical weakness. I never stood up for myself because I couldn’t verbally or physically fight back. I’ve never been in a fight. I always submitted and bowed down to anyone who would even glare in my direction. Taking martial arts class has given me something outside of myself I could focus on but has also strengthened my confidence in my own abilities.
Ask yourself what do I have to focus on outside of my inner issues.