Because of my anxiety, I am often very concerned about how I come across to others. And because of decisions my father made that I disagree with, I am overly concerned when I think I am in danger of making those same decisions. In fact, sometimes all I can see is the mistakes of my father looking back at me.
This is a difficult post to write because although he did make many mistakes, there is no question that he loved me and wanted the best for me. He also taught me many good lessons. Yet mental illness so often causes you to focus solely on the negative, and sometimes those negative aspects are all I can see looking back at me when I look in the mirror.
Yet like so many things that are whispered in the dark by one’s mental illness, this is a lie. And it does get better. Thanks to the help I have gotten, I can now look through the mirror instead of fixating only on my reflection. In other words, I can see the ways I am different, and the different futures that are possible. Moreover, I can look at and judge my own decisions more and worry about the decisions of the past less. I can remind myself I can be my own man, incorporating the good lessons my father left me with while pruning away the bad ones.
And if you are struggling with something similar, know that you can do that too. Part of why I started this site was to remind people that they aren’t alone and that it does get better.
And even if you are just taking the time to read these words, you are supporting that recovery, so thank you.