Identity Crisis: I Am NOT My Diagnoses
If my ADHD muse had its way, this post would be about glowing squirrels riding monkeys into battle. As it is, we’re gonna talk about identity, because sometimes this little bugger has a funny way of GETTING IN THE WAY. Take it away Price Ea.
Now, I got to reading the comments, and plenty of them express the idea that, Oh, he’s just trying to say you can get rid of depression by thinking about it. I didn’t get that at all, especially since at one point he specifically states, “Before enlightenment, I was depressed. After enlightenment, still depressed, but it’s totally different now.”
What I took from that video is this. I am not my disorders, and I’m not my diagnoses. Certainly, these factors inform the way I live my life, the way my synapses fire, the way I see the world, but they are not me, any more than I am them. It’s a reminder I sorely needed.
Why would someone so epic 😉 need a reminder that I’m not my diagnoses?
Because believe it or not, I’ve got at least four on my plate right now, including ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety and Gender Dysphoria (i.e. the emotional baggage that came with growing up trans and closeted).
And I nearly gave up last week and filed for disability. No, I don’t believe everyone who’s on disability for mental illness has given up. Sometimes these issues have exactly that kind of debilitating effect on life. To those of you, I salute the courage it must’ve taken to swallow that much pride and say I need a way to survive and a conventional “accepted” income path can’t work for me. Mine aren’t quite there yet, but I started indulging what I consider a major thinking error.
I allowed the idea that maybe I AM my diagnosis.
I didn’t notice it until I watched this video, but it’s part of why I mistook my Grief for Depression. I’d begun allowing the belief, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I AM depressed, as if this Major Depression is who I am, is my being, is my existence.
Which is plain silly, and downright defeatist.
When I saw the video, I realized that’s what I was doing, and I changed course, as I’ve done more than a few times in my life. It was time to step up, and move on. Time to figure out what I could do, not what’s wrong with me.
Let’s hope the steps I took work out.