Updated: Aug 31, 2022
When You Feel Like You Can't Because of mental illness.
I can’t. Well, I can’t right now. One day in the future I can; as long as you’re willing to bend and stretch your definition of what “can” is. It’s not that I don’t want to. I can’t overcome it by positive thinking. I can’t “just do it.” I’m not lazy. I’m not making up excuses. I’m not weak. I can’t because I’m the brain that’s swallowed by panic and fear. I can’t because I’m the brain that’s overstimulated and overwhelmed. I can’t because I’m the brain that doesn’t have the proper words for me to describe what I’m going through so I can get help. I can’t because I am the brain that is numbed down from feeling too much for too long and has become worn out. I can’t because I am the brain that struggles to understand the difference between what’s real or not real because it all seems the same. I can’t because I am the brain that is desperately trying to cope with sensory overload. I can’t because I am the brain that is unable to shut down at night so I can rest. I can’t because I am the brain that is deficient in executive functions and I have not yet learned and exercised these skills. I can’t because I am the brain that automatically switches off my control when I’m trying to cope with disappointment, frustration or stress. I can’t because I am the brain that jumbles, reverses and mixes things up. I can’t because I am the brain that is scattered and unfocused. I can’t because I’ve put all of my energy into trying to cope with a malfunctioning brain, self-advocating and trying to meet the standards expected of me and I’ve become so drained. If I could, I would — but I can’t. I can’t until I learn the skills I need and practice them. I can’t until I’ve gotten the help and guidance I need from someone else. Please try to understand I’m trying harder than you’ll ever know and be patient with me. Please don’t tell me you can get over it so I could as well if I just tried a little harder. Someday, somewhere down the road when I can, please recognize the strength and struggles it took to get that far instead of looking at my other “can’t’s.”
In the mean time I'll keep working on my "can's".
Photo by me. Meeeee. M.
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