Update (10/15/17): Pt. 2 of "October Orchards" is currently in the works! Will be a little while yet, but out ASAP. :)

4.15.2015

The Understand Me Award

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Nominated by Quayla

Mental illness. Is it just me, or are more and more people being diagnosed as "mentally ill"? 

I'm not one to get offended over labels and names and words that might be considered offensive... You will, inevitably, offend someone, somewhere, no matter what word you use to refer to anything, and attempts by activists to ban certain words (I'm looking at you."Ban Bossy") irritates me just as much as the people who use these words to insult others. 

Nevertheless, words do have power. It's the responsibility of the speaker to use his or her words wisely, and it's up to the listener (sometimes subconsciously) which words have an impact on them, either negatively or positively. 

That's what I'll be focusing on most with this post: Responsibility of the speaker, and choice of the listener. Lovely Quayla from over at Mind of Quayla was kind enough to nominate me for the Understand Me Award, and being able to be proud of your differences is a subject I've always been passionate about, so I am very grateful to her for the nomination!


I'll start broadly, and say that being different, whether it's because you have some sort of condition or simply because you don't look or act like a certain group of people, is normal. It's normal and it's good.

To be yourself, and be proud of it, is one of the greatest things you could ever do. For both yourself and others. When you stop trying to fit in, when you stop trying to get others to like you by hiding certain parts of your personality, you're not only showing true strength and confidence, but you're giving the world a new person. An actual person who will contribute to society, instead of a pretender who holds it back.

Unfortunately, we all know that "being yourself" is so much easier said than done. It is very difficult to get past all of the barriers that exist and that keep you from being true to yourself. One of the biggest barriers are words, and the actions that typically follow them. Someone who is considered different will be treated as such, and most often it's not fun. People are mocked, bullied, and just overall treated very poorly when they're not exactly like another. When they don't share the same beliefs, or when they look strange to someone else, or when they do things that others don't, can't, or won't understand.

This is how some folks are. This is never going to change. There will always be people who don't understand, and who don't appreciate diversity. This is a part of life—and for any difference, this is extremely sad. But for mental illnesses and similar conditions, it's even more so. 

You don't get to choose what you're born with. Someone didn't choose to be born without the ability to speak. Someone didn't choose to be born with severe anxiety. Nor depression, obsession, mood swings, etc.. They didn't choose these things, but they got them. How unfair is it to make their lives even more difficult by harassing them? Or acting as if they don't exist? 

Someone with a "disorder" is human, just like you and me. Are they different? Yes, but as I've been saying, different isn't bad. Strange isn't bad. Weird isn't bad. Heck, some of the brightest people I know were diagnosed with some kind of disorder that way too many folks would shiver at. Autism, ADHD (aren't all kids diagnosed with this now?), Tourettes, OCD (I can tell this runs in my family LOL), phobias of all sorts, the list goes on.

People who are born with one of these so-called disorders or illnesses have to learn to cope with them. And with the reactions from others. This can do one of two things: It can create a person who is strong, able to overcome anything that is thrown at them. Or, it can create a person who feels alone, that no one understands, and they're just an unwanted anomaly. Usually, in the end, the person has experienced both.

But since there will always be those bad apples in every group, those who feel the need to bring you down for your differences, it's up to you to protect yourself against their impact. Filter it. Thank those who are kind to you, and ignore those who aren't. Be strong. Build your confidence. Learn to love yourself, your flaws and your imperfections. They make you who you are!

(Another thing that's easier said than done, but if you can do that, you're already stronger than those throwing insults!)

Believe me, I'm far from mastering the "filter" thing I mentioned. It's hard to ignore hurtful comments. But it gets easier with some hard work and determination, and it's something that we can all work on together.

The world contains over 7 billion people. Each of us are brought up differently. We're from different countries, with different cultures. We have different backgrounds, and genetics, and all of that. Just think how boring the world would be if we were all alike!
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Anyway... Just my opinion. As for nominations, I saw no details relating to rules—I'm sure Quayla wouldn't mind if I passed this on to anyone willing to create a post.

Thanks again, Quayla, for the nomination! I'll be displaying this award on my "About" page. :)

P.S. I might rewrite some of this a bit later. It's early in the morning, and I'm half-asleep. I'll have to read it when I'm more awake to make sure it's somewhat coherent LOL.  Eh, it's fine, I think! Let me know if you see any changes that could be made. ;)

18 comments:

  1. Hey Eve, congratulations for your award! :) You deserve it. You are just too good :D As always, you are right. <> I love how you put that clear out there! :)

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    1. Awe, thank you Hp! :) I just hate how so many people are afraid of being different. Bring on the whacky weirdos lol!

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    2. Ikr! Everyone is unique and they should be proud of that. Each person have their own style and that's what make them so special. But not everyone understands that unfortunately. hahaa :p

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    3. Exactly! The phrase is a bit overused now, but people really are unique. Hopefully someday the world will be more accepting of differences! We're getting there, slowly.

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  2. GREAT response! This is really touching! For someone half-asleep, you wrote this on point! The only thing I could see you changing is taking out one of the "and's" in the 11th paragraph. Thanks for responding! :)

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    1. Ahahah, that couldn't have happened in a better paragraph. "Learn to love yourself, your flaws and your imperfections." Like adding an extra 'and' ^^ Thanks for telling me about that.

      And sure, no problem! Appreciate the nomination. I had fun writing it. :)

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  3. I just posted something on a mental or neu-something disorder. Wow. I really like what you said:
    " People who are born with one of these so-called disorders or illnesses have to learn to cope with them.
    And with the reactions from others. This can do one of two things: It can create a person who is strong, able to overcome anything that is thrown at them. Or, it can create a person who feels alone, that no one understands, and they're just an unwanted anomaly. Usually, in the end, the person has experienced both."

    This is exactly how I feel. I was in the second situation and am beginning to make it to the first. It's really hard and YES with the thing about them DECIDING whether you do or don't have an issue. I'm really happy that I read this. Geez, you don't know.

    ~India or Tudda Pudda

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    1. Just hopped over and gave your post a read; so sorry you have to go through that. Family members should be there to help you through times like that, not be the ones causing them. Do they intentionally try to upset you? Are they just... not thinking? I'm continually surprised by how unaware people are of what they're doing.

      I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed the post. I hoped it helped you a bit. Good for you for making it through those tough times! You're obviously a strong person now, but I'm quite confident that you will make it the rest of the way, until you're where you feel comfortable. People will be people, and it takes a lot to have the strength to deal with them. But you can become an incredible person while you learn how.

      Keep working at it, India. I know you can do it! ;)

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    2. Sorry if my google + accounts are confusing. Both Tudda Pudda and IndiaM.junior are me. It's a long story but you'll only see Tudda Pudda from now on. But they're both me.

      And no, they don't do it on purpose, but I think they don't care enough to watch how they do things.
      And Eve, you are always SO nice to me and I thank you for that. I can not even begin to explain how happy your comment made me. Thanks for then encouragement. Seriously.

      And again, sorry for the account confusion. :P

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    3. No worries! You make it clear that they're both you, so it isn't that confusing. I know how it goes with multiple accounts lol.

      You're so welcome, India. Wish I could do more for you, but I'm glad that I can at least offer you support and encouragement! I obviously don't know your family, but from experience, I know that not everyone is great at showing they care. In fact, some people are outright terrible at it lol. That doesn't always mean that they don't, though (how confusing is that?!).

      I hope you get things resolved with your family. You might be on the right track with wanting to move; not everyone is compatible and able to live peacefully with each other!

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  4. love this post and your friend's gesture ....there's much love in this world and we are so alike dedpite our differences and uniqueness....we need more writers in this world,writers who make peace and love easy...God bless.

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    1. So very true! There's still far too much hate in the world, but there's just as much, if not more, love. Sometimes you have to look for it—it's not always right in front of our eyes. But there's a lot there.

      Differences should be embraced, not criticized. And yes, I agree! We can always use more writers! Especially the kind that encourage peace and love and understanding.

      Thanks for reading, Seema. :)

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  5. I know I'm a late commenter, but I really like this post, Eve. It's really well written! I have two friends who had little sisters with Trisomy 18. (A disorder of the chromosomes, like Down Syndrome but worse.) These sweet babies are said to be "incompatible with life". What?!! That is just cruel and has convinced so many families to abort their precious children. They are told it is cruel to let these children live. Yes, these children have difficulties-but they smile and enjoy life and love their families. Labels like these need to be ended!

    (You can read a post by a T18 big sis on my blog here: http://everythingisblogsome.blogspot.com/2015/03/trisomy-awareness-month-guest-post-by_18.html )
    Thanks for sharing this, Eve!

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    1. That's alright! I don't mind late comments ^^

      Assuming that you meant the "incompatible with life" label, then yes! That's ridiculous and says that these kids have absolutely no chance to be happy and succeed in life. I'll be honest and say that I get where they're coming from when they abort the pregnancy. They don't want the child to have to go through the problems that come with a disorder, because many times it is very, very, VERY hard on them, and life is difficult as it is. But yes, similar to what you said, they have just as good a chance to be happy and overcome the difficulties as they do for not. I think they deserve the chance. I understand some of the reasoning behind the label you mentioned, I don't agree with it, but I can understand it, and I think it's a bad message to send.

      I'll be sure to check that post out when I get the chance. Thank you, Christine! :)

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    2. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say I don't understand where these parents are coming from when they abort. I totally do understand, although I still believe it doesn't make it right. I do believe I shouldn't judge, though. It just makes me angry when everybody around them is pressuring them to abort, and I just think IT'S THEIR BABY! NOT YOURS!
      Sorry, I get passionate at times. I myself am not "normal" so...lol!

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    3. Oh, definitely!! That's a huge, huge decision, and one that should be made by the parents and the parents only. Abortion is such a tough subject; there's points to be made on both sides. I honestly don't know where I stand on it—I think it depends on the situation.

      It's good to be passionate! And hey, what's "normal" right? ;)

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    4. Exactly! I know Abortion is a tough subject, and although I'm adamantly pro life, I also know I need to be careful how I voice my opinion. There should be a proper balance between standing up for what I believe in and being just plain mean and rude.

      Right! I think normal is boring. ;)

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    5. Looks like you're on the right track there, Christine! It's good to understand both sides of an argument, and then respectfully defend your side. I think "proper balance" was the perfect word choice there!

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