Validation can be destructive

Let’s get something straight.

Mental illness is not cute. 

Mental illness is not trendy. 

And most importantly, mental illness is not curable by love. 

A friend of mine, who’s undergoing therapy at the moment, had a revelation. She proclaimed that we as humans despise confrontation. When we are faced with a harsh blow, we burden ourselves with self-pity because we should be feeling sorry for ourselves when no one else does, right? We seem to think that everyone simply hates us and that we’re targeted, all the time.

 

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Here’s why that thinking is destructive for our functioning. 

Pitying ourselves leads us to believe that we are right. The mistakes we make are casual and can be made time and again, without any repercussions. Have you ever felt like you created a blunder and didn’t know how to clean up the spilled milk and just spilled some more, because eh, someone else might just clean it up? Bingo, that’s where it all starts.

 

But now, once we’ve realized that no one is on our side and that the world feels like it’s crumbling like dominos, what do we do? Go onto Tumblr and find relatable scenarios and virtual friends who support and validate this destructive thinking.

We wouldn’t want to hurt our snowflake-selves so we continue to stay cushioned beneath walls of protection.

Here’s where mental illness comes into play.

We begin to develop an idea of why we mess up so often. We contemplate and eventually decipher that we suffer from high-end anxiety, which we self-diagnose.

We’re not mental health professionals. We’re humans sitting at home, reading a few lines off internet posts stating the symptoms of mental disorders and BAM! We’re now mentally ill.

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I, for one, have done this. I am guilty of this. But here I am, firmly stating that IT IS NOT OKAY TO VALIDATE YOURSELF LIKE THIS.

Now, you’re sad. You want to get better but you’re just going to mope around thinking Julia Roberts is going to cradle you in her arms and tell you everything is going to be okay JUST so you can repeat this cycle tomorrow? NO! That’s not how it works.

Once, alright. Twice, alright we can work on it. But the hundredth time? No man, you’ve got to either get help, if you’re actually depressed, or prepare for the harsh truth. No one likes tough love but if you’re unwilling to make an effort to change, NO ONE can help you. And let me explicitly state – Love is not a cure for mental illness/disorders.

Mental illness is within YOUR power. You can be helped through and through but if you tell yourself that it’s perfectly normal to be sad all the time and not work towards getting better? You’ve set yourself up for failure.

Life is about moving on. Pick yourself up. Others can pull you up as much as possible, but if you’ve stapled yourself to the ground, you best believe that no one will wait a hundred years to keep lifting you.

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