Let us recap some of the things I wrote about in this blog in the past, shall we? Yes, I was a severe alcoholic. Yes, I have struggled with major depression. Yes, a plethora of anxiety disorders, primarily social anxiety, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. And you know what? Almost all of that is gone, and that which isn't is fading fast.
All this I have accomplished through hard work and an unwaving struggle. Any demon that follows you on your back, you gotta face it and stand up to it. Any fear that is strong and persistent enough to become a disorder, you have to face it and stand up to it every day and never let up, never give up. I made conscious decisions to tackle each and every issue and went through with it, not questioning for a second that I could succeed. Take a thing like obsessive-compulsive disorder, which to most people is a crippling illness. Is it? You suffer some of the worst fears a human mind can suffer, but the important thing about fear is not to give in to it but face it head-on, never hide, always confront it, every day. It isn't real, it's all in your head, which may seem like a silly thing to say, but that's how it is, and that's why you can beat it, because any mind that can come up with these fears can also come up with the will to triumph over them. Panic disorder? Mortal terror of certain death leaving the house or similar situations? Simple, leave the house every day, face the fear and live through it until you conquer it. I've done so every day for years, always at my limit of what I could take, but it didn't stop me, and you know what? It's all gone, out of my head. You gotta take on your fears and never give in to them and see that you can be the master of your own mind.
Yes, if you have a mental diagnosis, everybody will see you for the person you are not, not for the person you are. Everybody will tell you what you can't do, not what you can do. Everybody will say you are going to fail, that you always will be a failure. Especially people paid to "help" you. They'll tell you to take it slow, don't do too much because you're not capable, you're so ill, you need to be protected and pampered. You know what? You don't have the flu, you do not cure this with bed rest. You are on a battlefield with an army of shadows before you, and you do not sit down and wait for them to go away, you pick up your sword and take them down, one by one, with unwavering determination and all the strength of your soul, until there are none left. You think you can't do it because everybody tells you you can't? I'll let you in on a secret: "Everybody" is fucking stupid. If they think you are an invalid or a loser who can't do anything, don't even validate it by giving it a second thought, or even a first. It's YOUR life, and YOU gotta know what YOU can do. You are not ill, you are under siege from bad thoughts and bad feelings, and it is your job to break the siege. Fight every day, and don't let up, until you are free. If you can do that, you can lose all fear and reach for your dreams, because you have taken the warrior's road, and this will be in your soul for a lifetime.
No, I don't have anything to show for in the "real" world. I don't have a house, I don't have a car, I don't have a family. That is why people look down on me and claim I have accomplished nothing. But I have accomplished a bigger and harder feat than most people ever will. I have taken on the battle against the biggest enemy a man can face: My own shadows. And now? Give me death, give me devastation, give me famine, give me disease - I do not fear! This is why I can do anything in my life now. Most people would collapse facing what I have faced, but I have not given in and fought back, and now I am winning. If you can win this battle, you can win any battle, and your possibilities are limitless, because if you do not fear yourself anymore, you do not fear anything or anyone else. And if you see your own strength in what you accomplished, you know that no challenge can be too big for you. That is why you should ignore those who want to hold you back. They are nothing. They fear themselves and try to project it on others to alleviate their own fears. They are drains of energy that have no purpose in your life or their own. As long as you believe in yourself and know you can do anything, it does not matter what any of the small-minded people around you say.
You know what? In the beginning of your struggle there will be people who tell you to pull yourself together and move your butt. And you get so distressed with it and just want someone who understands you, what you are going through. And you will find these people, doctors, nurses, fellow sufferers. And it will feel good and comforting for a while. But in the end you will find that the people who told you to pull yourself together and move your butt were right all along. Because if you want to get out of a labyrinth, you do not wait for someone to show you the way or take down the walls. You take the challenge head-on. And master it.