Our lives are not a straight line. They are not a perfect journey from Point A to Point B without any hitches or trouble along the way. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, and a lot of curving back around to retread places you have already been. We are not meant to follow some perfect outline of a life, we are meant to experience all these things we just listed and get through them as best we can. This includes our upbringing. When undergoing recovery and the recovery process, we may have to look back on our lives and realize that certain things didn’t go as best as they could have. We will have to look in the mirror to see ourselves but also to see the people that have been with us in the past. It is a terrifying thing to not only scrutinize yourself but also the loved ones you may have. You are forced to understand that they have played a part in your journey and how you have gotten where you are. It can be a painful realization to experience this. Suddenly, the people you have always viewed as the ones who got you through everything are part of the reason why you are where you are. But it is important to realize that this does not constitute them as a negative force in your life; just because something may play a factor in the development of your condition or disorder does not mean it is a problem. They are not the root of what caused this, even if they played a role.
Coping with the Fact That Your Friends and Family Play a Role in Your Mental Illness
You may come to realize that your parents didn’t behave or act a certain way that could have helped avoid this. Perhaps it was a thing they said to you when you were younger or a look they gave someone else. It can be these random, one-time moments that stick with you. They don’t have to be recurring or prevalent, they don’t have to be a constant in your life, to affect you. We all internalize specific things and carry unique moments with us long after they have happened. You may come to see that your friends haven’t supported you in the way that you needed. Perhaps they weren’t there to talk to when you needed them most, or they weren’t around when you were feeling low. Perhaps it was a time when you weren’t invited to a gathering of some kind, and that really affected you. All these things, while not indicative of negative behavior, can play a role in our mental disorders and conditions forming and living. Each little moment is another building block being laid in the foundation of our brain to ultimately lead us to this point.
There is anger in that realization, a sense of betrayal. But it is important to not let that anger cloud your vision or mind. Yes, your family, friends, and loved ones have all made a mistake in the road to this moment, but that doesn’t mean you can blame or condemn them for it. They are not responsible for your disorder. Of course, if the bad behavior was a pattern that pointed towards abuse, then responsibility would surely lie on their shoulders, but in terms of what we are talking about here, it isn’t their fault. They are people too and they have made mistakes. They will continue to make mistakes and there may come a time when you feel they are not living up to what you need from them. That is okay. Just as they have accepted us with patience and grace, so do we have to accept them for it as well. They love you. They never set out to cause this beast to form in your head. They didn’t make it a point to go out ensure that you felt put down at every possible moment. Odds are, that beast was going to be born at some point regardless. They probably feel an immense amount of guilt as it is, and we don’t have to add to that if we don’t have to. We need to not only forgive ourselves in our journey to recovery but also the people around us when it is deserved.
Your perspective will change as you go through recovery and this includes the way you look at your past. Things take on a different image when applied with your new lens. You may feel differently about some people and how they acted, but we implore you to remember forgiveness. Our support system is there for us and even with their shortcomings, they don’t deserve to be blamed for things that have happened. Moving on requires a certain amount of forgiveness, and we can show that to the people in our lives. Let go of the anger and resentment that you may feel; don’t let another beast be born.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness,
do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery at (866) 399-6528.