Today, I had an eye doctor’s appointment to get a new prescription and some new glasses. My current glasses are showing a bit too much damage from 7 years of use, which includes falling asleep on them more often than I care to admit. And as I think about it, I realize that my vision is an interesting analogy for understanding my mental illnesses.
So often I see the world and react in a way that is baffling. I know how I react has to do with my depression or anxiety, but I am completely unable to explain why. A while back, a therapist I was seeing asked me if I knew who I was, and these inexplicable, anxiety induced behaviors are a part of that mystery.
As I’ve worked on myself with therapy, and tried to manage my anxiety and depression with medication, I’ve started to get a lot better at seeing myself with the same clarity that glasses provide for my physical vision. Indeed, when I come out of a severe depression or anxiety, it is like putting my glasses on and everything comes into better focus. But there is still a long way to go.
With any luck I’ll walk away today with a literal better view of the world. Seeing myself and my mental illnesses more clearly will unfortunately take more time, more therapy, and a lot more work. I wish it were as easy as simply sitting in a chair while someone asks you, “better on number one, or number two,” until your anxiety and depression are corrected the way vision is. Unfortunately, life is rarely as clear as a new pair of glasses.