I’m sure we have all encountered these people in our lives. Some are family and some are friends even. I call them ‘The Just Do It’ people. When your anxiety is keeping you from doing something these people will look at you and say ‘just do it’. When you are depressed they say ‘stop being sad’. They are the people who think Bipolar disorder and anxiety is a choice. It is just something you can turn off.
The thing that has always bugged me the most about these people is they would never say that to someone with any other kind of illness. Just make your heart start working again. Tolerate sugar better. Stop dying of cancer. Bipolar disorder is an illness just like heart disease , cancer, or diabetes. We can’t stop being sick just like they can’t. But people do think mental illness is something you can just stop.
‘Be more positive.’ That is something I hear a lot. ‘If you were more positive you wouldn’t be depressed.’ Yes, I choose to look at the darker side of life to the point where I want to die. That is something I CHOOSE to do. If I could think happy thoughts don’t you think I would. Trust me I want to stop obsessing over all the miserable things about my life. I don’t enjoy being so depressed that I can’t even get up to feed myself or use the bathroom. I have never understood how people could think we are doing this on purpose. Like we could be all better if we wanted to.
I have two older sisters. The oldest has always been the biggest ‘Just do it’ person in my life. She has said on more then one occasion I don’t understand why you don’t just do it. It’s one thing to not understand, but she has never even tried. I had a conversation the other day with her and she doesn’t even know what type of Bipolar disorder I have. Or that there is more then one. I offered to give a book once that had stuff highlighted and notes about what I go through. She never got around to reading it. My other sister never talked to me about it until I was in my thirties. Her friend at work told her about his wife who is Bipolar. They were having a really hard time. I was at her house babysitting her kids and she started asking me questions. It was a really good talk. I felt really good about it when I went home. I feel like she understands me a little better now.
There are always going to be people who don’t understand. It is going to be frustrating and sad. As many times as I have thought I wish they could walk a mile in my shoes I have stopped myself. I would never want even a person I hate to suffer through what I have. I don’t wish that on anyone. I’m sorry they don’t understand, but I do. Other people out there do. You are not alone. Never let those people make you feel like your problems are a quick and easy fix you just won’t fix. Don’t listen to the ‘Just do it’ people of this world.
Do you have people like that in your life?