I talk about the demons of mental illness a lot on this page. However, what I don’t talk about as much, and something that I have been struggling with recently, has been the ghosts of my demons.
What I mean by that is that I have not always been as stable in my recovery as I am now. And while my social anxiety and introvertedness still makes me socially awkward at times, I was much worse in the past. Specifically, before my recovery, I would look out at the world with the pain of my demons and I think I scared people. Moreover, I would sometimes act inappropriately towards people because I simply didn’t know how to act in certain situations.
And some of this can be written off because much of it was during high school and high school is a nightmarish crap shoot to begin with. Yet that wasn’t all of it. High school angst alone wasn’t responsible for the things I did or said that I shouldn’t have. High school angst wasn’t responsible for the passive suicidal feelings I had at times.
And these demons and their ghosts aren’t my fault, they are byproducts of an illness. Yet that doesn’t mean I can ignore their existence. Being honest about who I was in the past is as important as recognizing the work I still need to do in the present.
Put another way, these ghosts can either haunt me or instruct me as I continue to go through my recovery, but the one choice that isn’t an option is for them to go away altogether.
And if you still have ghosts from your past, I simply want you to know you are not alone.