Someone told me their mental health diagnosis.
Except I didn’t hear it at such.
And my response was “Oh, sweetie, I am so sorry”.
Though I may not have said those actual words. I did say it energetically: that was my feeling.
See, when someone tells me their mental health “diagnosis” I don’t see it as a mental health diagnosis at all.
I have done so much work on my own “mental health diagnosis”, and I am now swimming so deep in the waters of Spirituality that “mental health diagnosis” gets translated for me into “this is the crisis that the Universe has decided to throw at me at this particular time, to help me awaken”.
Mental Health, Shmental Health
Mental health diagnosis don’t scare me anymore, not even slightly. They are not even a blip on the radar for me.
You can come and tell me that you spend most of your day curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, rocking backwards and forwards, sobbing intermittently and shaking continuously and I will show you all my compassion, open my arms out wide and hold you and say “Oh, sweetie, I am so sorry”.
I will do these things on an “energetic” level, because you might not be ready for this experience in a physical / literal sense. But the feeling “Oh, sweetie, I am so sorry” will be there.
Zero judgement. Zero fear.
I’m not scared of your mental health diagnosis. Or mine.
It’s not even a “real thing” anyway.
I mean, it feels real, and the effects on our lives are real enough.
What I mean is… Western science is wrong. So, so wrong.
It’s not all about the mind
Mental illnesses are not mental. Or they are not “just” mental.
They are mental, emotional, energetic, spiritual and physical.
And in order to heal from them, we need to work on all the levels at the same time.
You need to strengthen your muscles, so you can stand better, that’s a physical thing. Changing your posture will help you breathe better, which is an energetic thing. Having stronger legs (physical) will also ground you, which is another energetic thing that mostly means “calming you the heck down”. And stronger legs will help you feel safe, another energetic thing.
Actually, you need to develop a regular physical practice, because you will need grounding regularly.
You also need to reprogram your mind so that it thinks differently, and that’s the mental thing. This is harder than it seems, because we all go around thinking that the way we think is who we are. Not true. We are so, so, so much more than our thoughts, but we don’t know that. And learning that is scary, which is why we need grounding. See?
We need to be strong enough mentally, physically and energetically to feel our emotions (emotional thing!). There is no getting away of feeling our emotions. Emotions shall be felt, or else: illness rises up. Sometimes we mistake having emotions for being ill, because our culture teaches us that having emotions is wrong (especially in British culture, less so in Hispanic culture, but still).
Last, but by no means least, you need to see your illness as part of your spiritual awakening.
If you’re sensitive and smart, there is no escaping this.
You need a way to understand why this is happening to you, a way that leaves you at peace. Literally at peace.
You need to get on the spiritual path
Of course, you don’t have to listen to me, at all.
Yet I have never heard of a single smart, sensitive person with a mental health diagnosis who got healed, permanently, from a mental health diagnosis without a serious spiritual transformation.
This doesn’t mean that when you jump on board the spiritual path you are happy forever and everything is rosy.
It means that when the shit hits the fan, as it is known to do in human lives, you don’t lose all your marbles. You are left with enough marbles to know what to do, to work with the proverbial shit and dig yourself out.
Then, with your new found spiritual understanding, you say to yourself “WOW, learning experience!” and you move on. Though with me it’s more like “F*CK, learning experience!!!”.
Spirituality will ask everything of you
It will ask you to believe differently. It will ask you, point blank, to change your Gods. To change your understanding of who you are and why you’re here.
At some point life will place you at a crossroads, and say: “if you carry on believing in what you believe, you will stay ill; if you want to be well, you will need to believe differently”.
We don’t call our Gods “Gods”. We call them things like “careers” and “relationships”.
“Status”, “prestige”, “hard work”, “awards”, “mortgage”, “marriage”, “car”, “children”.
For me, the question was “You want to be a famous political writer, and have a Very Middle Class life, get invited to speak at glamorous events, dine with other Middle Class people in Oxford, and have a fancy life in London. Don’t you? Yes, that’s what you want. Well, if you carry on believing this story, you will stay ill. If you want to be well, you will need to believe differently”.
That was my story. Those were my “Gods”.
I had to let go of that story, and it was brutal.
Because from within that story, my present life was… Hell. Since I have no “career”, no “relationship”, no “status”… no nothing. From the perspective of that story, from the worshipping of those Gods, my present life was Hell.
In order for my life to not be Hell, I had to let it all go. I had to believe in a different story, one that made my present life “peaceful”.
This is my new story. I get closer to it everyday
You cannot heal by forcing yourself to reach a milestone in your “story of success”, forcing yourself to “make it”.
You heal by changing your “story of success”, and choosing a story where your wounded state is legitimate.
None of us would choose these “crisis” or “diagnosis” if it were up to us.
And at the same time, they are not “optional”.
Spiritual awakening is what is calling us, and it won’t stop calling until we respond.
And that is the spiritual understanding of a “mental health diagnosis”.