Create Account
Forgot Password



mikew Friday, October 12, 2012
I've been a blogging machine the last few days. As of writing this, I put this site online almost two years ago, but haven't had the time to finish it and start promoting it up until now. The reason I'm writing so many blogs is that I read through the ones I'd written two years ago and need to replace them. I know so much more now than I did then.

The thing is, when I first wrote those old blogs, I felt fully recovered... totally healed and nearly cured. I thought I was as good as I'd ever get back then, but I was wrong. I'm so much better than I used to be. I started leading the support group around the time I initially put this site online. Now that I've been doing the whole facilitating thing at group, I've noticed and learned things I wasn't aware of back then.

I first attended the support group a little over six years ago. I went pretty much every week for a few years, and then felt like I'd gotten everything out of it as I could. When I graduated from college and decided to start writing my book, I thought it'd be a good idea to go back to group... a way to keep myself inspired. I didn't think I needed the support anymore, and I was right about that--but the group had so much more to offer than I expected. I made the switch from going to group for support to going to the group to *offer support*. Knowing that I was helping people gave me more confidence and self esteem than I could have thought possible.

One of my favorite things about group is that it has given me the opportunity to observe people when they first come, at the lowest of lows, and then watch them change for the better. The first time someone comes, feeling lost and hopeless, you can see it in their lethargic body language and hear it in their low, monotone voices. But when they keep coming week after week, you can see that they're getting better just by watching their new body language. Some of my favorite moments at group are the moments where, for the first time, that dejected, depressed person, cracks their first joke. That shows me they've reached a milestone in their recovery. Then, sometimes only weeks later, the person is coming to group not because they need support--now they're offering it. Once that happens, their confidence and self esteem skyrockets just like mine did when I first started offering support.

I say all that because, just like the definition of 'recovered' is vague, the definition of 'complacent' is as well. I'm so happy I started coming back to group to offer support. I would not be the confident guy with a ton of self esteem that I am today. I thought I was as good as I'd ever get. I'd kind of gotten complacent. The bottom line is, you never know how much better you're capable of being if you stop trying to get better.

It's amazing to discover how much better you can make yourself when you stop thinking in terms of what people can do for you and start thinking in terms of what you can do for others.

I've read a lot of mental illness memoirs because I wanted to learn how others have written their story of mental illness and see how their books compared to mine. A problem I have with a handful of memoirs is that they all end the same--something along the lines of "Well I've had this illness and I'm where I am now and since there is no cure this is about as good as I'm going to get." I have no doubt that the writers truly thought they were as good as they'd ever get, but I don't think that way. I expect more from myself and I try to inspire the people at group to expect more from themselves. If you think you're as good as you're ever going to get, you might be right but I'll bet that you're wrong. We can all get complacent if we stop trying to make ourselves better. However, this kind of complacency isn't really destructive, but it can stifle your ability to grow as a person.

The kind of complacency I've been talking about so far isn't a problem, it's just limiting your potential. But there are destructive forms of complacency that can hold you back. When I first came to group, I was smoking pot--spending $120 dollars a week on it. I thought it was helping me cope, but I was fooling myself. Pot won't kill you, and I'm of the opinion that drinking can cause way more problems and have extremely worse consequences. But there is a danger when it comes to pot: complacency.

I've always been a creative person. It seems like it's deeply rooted in me. I've always needed to have some kind of project I'm working on... I've always tried to use my potential as best as I could. But when I started smoking pot, I did nothing with my potential. I'd replaced my hobbies with smoking pot. I wanted to be creative, but pot can make you put things off and time passes without your realizing it. I had tons of friends when I was smoking pot, but I had little self esteem. I knew I wasn't doing a damn thing with my life. I wasn't being creative--I had no project I was working on. I knew that, if I wanted to be happier, I needed to do something creative, but it was too easy to smoke pot and zone out while watching TV and put off being productive with my time. Pot won't kill you, but it very likely could make you allow your life to pass you by.

When you're complacent, life can pass you by. Don't let life pass you by. Do something. It doesn't need to be the most impressive thing in the world, rather, just do something that you believe is worth doing.



blog id 9 commentcount
user...... 6/19/18 2:21 PM
blog id 9



A User Account is Required to post on this page.

Create User Account

Creating an account is free.










Copyright ©2010
All rights reserved