Sunday, November 15, 2009

Avoidance


There is an issue that I find common among people that happen to have a mental illness. It’s avoidance which takes many forms. However, what I am going to talk about is social avoidance. When I was first diagnosed, I was still living on campus and I was staying at the recovery house, after being discharge from the hospital. My friends from college wanted to see me, but I was avoiding seeing them. It happened that one day my best friend at college had her mother visiting her and she brought my best friend and her roommate, my other friend. Now her mother said that they were family. I was a little shaken when I found it was friends and not family. However, after our visit I felt better. Then when I came home to live with my parents and finish college in Chicago, I only had one friend to go out and do stuff with. My therapist at the time had a hard time convincing me to hang out with her. Every session it was like pulling teeth for him to get me to promise I would go out and do stuff or just even call her.

Gradually, I got more social. However, in 2006, I was hospitalized for the second time. (I am truly blessed that in the ten years I have had this illness, I was only hospitalized twice.) Anyway, I was inpatient a week and half before my graduation ceremony from college. I had already finished all my work and was accepted to get a degree. However, I came up with a million and one excuses not to go to my graduation ceremony. I had a therapist assigned to me in the hospital and the day before I was discharged he said to me, “If you are not well enough to go to your ceremony, then you aren’t well enough to get out of the hospital.” So you know what? I went and so far my college graduation was the best day of my life. I know there will be other best days like when I find the love of my life and make a commitment and if I every welcome a child into the world. However, for now that college graduation ceremony meant the most for me.

Now I can’t believe how social I am. The reason for writing this blog is because I just got home from one of my good friend’s house. I feel so comfortable with her, even though she doesn’t have a mental illness. I think that’s a part of avoidance too that when I first started feeling happy and well, I only wanted to hang around with people with the illness. It was like a safety net. Now in my life I have four very good friends. Two are mentally ill and it is o.k. to hang around with mentally ill people. However, I have two friends without the illness. I feel at ease around them and my avoidance is starting to go away. I think there is hope. St. Therese says, “It’s love, not time, that heals all wounds.” I think the kindness and compassion these people show me brings me a long way! And for the first time in a long time, I feel alive and free. It’s like I want to be out in the world and understand other people! I thank God and my friends that are healthy and good friends.

5 comments:

  1. Dear one this is an encouraging post. So glad that you have a friend that you really feel comfortable with and can trust! Praise God! Thank you for sharing such a powerful post. Blessings....

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  2. Blessing to you, real. Friends are very important. I was thinking when I was watching the Soloist with my friend that she was similar to the reporter. I suggest seeing the movie to know what I am talking about. Thank you for visiting my site regularly.

    Karxpelax, thanks for visiting my site and taking the time to make a comment, but I don't know what it means.

    Thanks to you both.
    Hugs,
    Amanda

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  3. I'm like you, Amanda, I am becoming more social and trying not to avoid interaction with others. I have friends with mental illness in their lives, as well as some lucky enough to be healthy, and it's good to have that balance.

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  4. It is good to have the balance. Isn't it Lil. Avoidvance can be a hard thing to try to stop. There are days I just don't want to get out of bed! Somehow, though, I find the strength, get on with my life. Yes, there is life after a diganoses. It's taken me a long time to realize that.

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