I lost another friend, but it might be my fault this time…I dunno. She was, at that point, my only friend, and thus the only person I could ask to be a personal reference for a volunteer job. She declined, and I said, “I understand,” trying to be nice. However, I was crushed, and felt like she really screwed me over. I was so sad and angry that I unfriended her. Declining to be my reference seemed like yet another part of a pattern of being more distant from me than I felt from her, and I didn’t feel like I could deal with being friends with someone in a situation like that. Now I’m friendless, and I probably deserve it.
After years of mental illness and hardship, my life has recently improved in several ways.
- I have better relationships with my parents.
- I’ve made some progress learning social skills.
- I have a couple of friends – one local and one who lives in another city.
- I’ve been slowly developing interests and getting involved with activities.
- I feel like I can do the things I need to do now. I’m not as full of dread, and things don’t seem so hard.
- I can still function when I get anxious or stressed out.
- I have a kitty.
- I have an income.
- I have goals to work towards.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Now that I’m in a good place mentally, it’s time for me to start contributing more to society. I’d like to start with volunteering. I tried applying to a crisis hotline, but it turns out that I need three professional references, and I don’t have any. A couple of other ideas I have are to volunteer at a homeless shelter or to do victim callbacks for the police.
I’m sharing this with readers cuz if anyone reading is dealing with mental illness and/or a difficult life, I’d like to show them that it’s possible to recover and for life to get better. I wish you all the best 🙂
At my last session with my therapist, I mentioned that I had read about personality in the book Psychology for Dummies. She had me take an online personality test to build on that. One thing that my results said was that I’m altruistic. She said, “If things in your life were different, you’d be out there saving the world right now.”
What she said makes me wonder if I’m not doing enough to help others. I thought that blogging was a good way to help others, but maybe it doesn’t have enough of an impact. I’ve wanted to do more even since before she said what she did. Some ideas that I’ve had include joining the care team at my church, doing volunteer work, or running a support group. Also, when I’m ready, I’d like to go back to school to become a therapist.
I talked to my mommy about what my therapist said. My mommy said that there’s no way to know if that’s true. She said that even if my life had gone better, I might still have had to take a break from school/working cuz of a genetic predisposition to mental illness. Her theory makes sense to me.
However, I also think that I might’ve been able to do more by now if things had gone differently, like my therapist said. For example, if my daddy had treated me better, I would’ve had a lot less stress in my life. His constant, heatedly expressed anger was one of the contributing factors that lead to my mental breakdown towards the end of my first attempt at college.
I’m sad for myself and the other people that I would’ve helped by now that I haven’t done more.
One thing that just came to mind, though, is that, bit by bit, I’m laying a foundation for helping others in the future. Even if nobody finds Oasis Charm helpful, this blog has been good for my mental health by giving me a place to process my thoughts, feelings, and the lessons I’ve been learning, which will put me in a better position to help others. I’ve been doing a lot of research about mental health, and psychology in general, which I can apply to my career when I become a therapist. I’m not doing much now, but I think the time will come when there will be more depth to my contributions. A good analogy would me a Pokemon like Bulbasaur doing a Solar Beam attack, first gathering energy from the sun before unleashing a powerful blast. I’ve had major setbacks, such as not being able to start understanding basic social skills till recently (a few years into adulthood), but I’ve decided to have compassion for myself instead of beating myself up about it.
Now I’m trying to use my empathy skill. I have a long history with my therapist of her supporting me. I don’t think that intended for me to feel bad about myself when she made that comment. She may actually have been trying to reassure me that it’s not my fault that I haven’t done more to help others. Yes, I prefer the positive interpretation. It’s kinder both to her and to myself.
Writing this article has helped me process how I feel about her comment and how I’ll incorporate into how I see myself. I feel better now.
Last Sunday, I tried out the Unitarian church. I received a warm welcome from many people. The atmosphere was positive and there were many references to nature throughout the sermon, which I enjoyed. I felt calm there, which is an unusual feeling for me cuz I have depression and anxiety and have been dealing with a lot of long term stress. I think that joining the church will help me relax more.
The sermon was about creativity. A member of the church spoke to us about her experiences writing poetry and running various writing groups. She and the substitute pastor gave two pieces of advice about creativity: to pay attention, and to draw from our inner lives. She shared some of her poems with us, which were beautiful. There was even a poem she built from words she picked out of a box. They were words that seemed random, like electric and salamander, but she turned them into a beautiful poem, too.
There are some other activities through the church that I’m interested in. The Pastoral Care team involves providing emotional and practical support for other church members. The Singular Unitarians group does various activities, such as movies and potlucks. I’m not sure what the Dojo of the Mind involves, but I think it might involve something like philosophy or brain teasers. I’ll try it out and see what happens.