Living with a mental illness most of my life, forced me to pretend. I became a great actor, masquerading and pretending to feel well and happy when I was not. I learned to become an illusion of myself.
Because of the stigma of mental illness we are taught soon after our diagnosis that we are different (but we are not). We are ostracized and shamed for getting an illness we never asked for. People think they are helping us (or themselves) by not saying anything to us, but it is the exact opposite. You become whispered about and talked about behind your back. People think we are not aware of this, but we definitely are.
Some people talk through you and around you, but never speak directly to you. This hurts. We are still the same person but somehow our puzzle piece of life no longer fits into the rest of the puzzle. Everything changes. If you were an edge piece, your puzzle piece loses its outer straight edge. You lost your place.
You soon learn you have to reshape your own puzzle piece. The puzzle piece you once identified with has transformed into something else and no longer fits into your puzzle of life.
Part of recovery is filling in the missing puzzle pieces of your life.
You discover that you have to be pretend. You have to pretend you feel well when you don’t. You have to figure out how to fit into a non-mental illness life puzzle when your piece of the puzzle has a mental illness edge. There is nothing wrong with a mental illness edge. We just have to adjust to it and figure out how to become part of the puzzle again. We also have to teach other people that it takes all different kinds of shapes and edges and puzzle pieces to create the beautiful puzzle of life.
When we try to live our lives as someone else, it eventually breaks us. It causes people to become undone when they are trying to live in the form or image of someone else. You only have one form you can be.
God created your puzzle piece of life before you were born. God’s creation and puzzle of life has a place for you in it the way he planned. Your outer edges have been formed to fit into the puzzle of life as yourself. You cannot be someone else’s puzzle piece.
Together we all fit into the great big puzzle of life God created for all of us. God gave us our own unique edges on our puzzle piece of life. You can always improve your puzzle piece. Add some glitter and sparkles, but don’t try to be someone else’s puzzle piece or the puzzle will never be completed. If you try to be someone else’s puzzle piece, there will always be a puzzle piece missing from puzzle and that missing piece will be you.
A missing piece is still part of the puzzle, but try not to be that missing piece.
Thank you for reading.
Much love and happiness, Sue
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