Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting a Clear Perspective on Your Mental Illness Through an Attitude of Gratitude - Guest Post

Imagine your this guy outside this window and when you look in you get to hear a part of a private conversation and see a picture of what’s taking place within the room, yet as you move from window to window you realize that even if all the rooms are the same size and are furnished the same way too, yet each room because of the people present, their interactions and the different conversations taking place then they are all very different in fact. This should not surprise you as everyday with our conversations and contact we get a picture of someone else’s world and for me this helps foster an attitude of gratitude and makes me content with my lot. This in turn leads to peace of mind and rest for my mentally troubled spirit.

My work gives me insight:
One of the main problems with any mental illness is that it is inclined to bring our thinking inward where most normal people live with their thought going to and fro from inside to the outside world. This is why mental illness can make a person feel so lonely. Being inside one’s own head can be a very frighten experience especially if the mind is in crisis mode. Thankful for me I have always being able to function to a very high standard and because I can work it is easier for me to be distracted from within my own mind because my work requires a great deal of attention and focus to complete my tasks. But it’s my work where I get the best opportunity to look into each individual’s world. Every day I do between five to seven calls to patients or clients who suffer from some of the following conditions: stroke, cancer, diabetes, blindness, mental illness, dementia, lung disease, immobility, amputees, MS, MND, deep brain injury, old age, arthritis, alcoholism’s, heart problems, autism and many other conditions that can and do disable people both young and old.

One of the things I have learned is that mental illness sufferers are not the only ones to feel pain and suffering and while I hear many mentally ill people say that at least with a physical illness then everyone can see it, where mental illness can go unseen, often denying the suffer of compassion and caring from others which does not usually happen to the person suffering physically which is true yet it is unfair to compare each other’s pain as there are so many variables like, age, gender, pain threshold, culture, race and if that person have other complicating factors.

Cancelled out by the pain and suffering:
But for me that is cancelled out by the pain and suffering I see every day so much so that at night and whenever I pray I thank God that I only have anxiety and a panic disorder because things could be so much worse. Looking into other’s lives gives me perspective on my own condition and when I look around at the suffering and pain that so many have to endure daily then I’m at a loss as to whether physical illness or mental illness is worse than one another. But for me to foster an attitude of gratitude then I must say I’m in the perfect job and have ample opportunity to see how the other half live.

My conclusion is that no matter who you are, no matter how rich you are, no matter what age you are, then pain and suffering will become part of your life experience. We sometimes think our lot is so much greater than everyone else’s lot but take it from me there is enough suffering and pain to go around so everyone can claim a share of it when complaining about life. Just now take a minute and look at the list of conditions that I encounter daily (listed above) and tell me truthfully that you would pick one of them rather than you own illness. I don’t think so. Off course there will be people who will reply that if they had such and such a condition above then they would die and there suffering would be over quickly but even that thinking can be dangerous because this stops a person living to their full potential despite any physical or mental health conditions.

Being grateful is a sign of good mental health:
I remember coming home from school one day and finding my dad and two of his friends crying because another friend of theirs had being diagnosed with cancer, yet the man with the cancer outlived two of the men crying in our kitchen that day over him. So be very careful if you ever think someone else has it better or worse than you as you just might be wrong and live to regret it. Being grateful for all you have and all you are is in itself a sign of good mental health. Its stops you begrudging others their lot and gives a sick mind a time of peace and healing. When I say these things to others I’m often asked why is it that the criminal, the gangster, the drug dealer or thief seem to prosper as opposed to what we call decent folk and I always answer:

 “Just because the evil man has not being dealt with does not mean he has being over looked

In other words everyone will inherit their own reward whether good or evil, so don’t be in a hurry to judge others rather pray they too will turn away from their evil lives because we have all heard the saying “there but for the grace of God go I” And now that I have said all that then please count you blessing and see just how many you really have as I have just lost count of mine. So I hope and pray what every your problem/illness or diagnosis that you receive the grace to live and endure as best you can and somewhere even in the madness of life that you too will find an oasis of peace that will transcend your own suffering and help you make a life for yourself that is fulfilling and meaningful while being conscious of the suffering of others.

-- by Michael Groves

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