Do you have an aversion to something that is holding you back on your journey to mental wellness? An aversion can be defined “as a tendency to extinguish a behavior or to avoid a thing or situation and especially a usually pleasurable one because it is or has been associated with a noxious stimulus.” Mariam-Webster Dictionary.
Mental wellness can be described as a pleasurable experience and yet we all seem to have some aversion within us that extinguishes our chances of reaching that place we want to go. How do you quickly spot an aversion? If you start a sentence with the words “I hate…” That is a very good indicator of an aversion. I know in my own mental wellness journey I had one aversion that held me back for years in all aspects of my life. What was that aversion? It was an aversion to learning. Because I had come to equate learning of any kind with pain and failure, I was totally averse to learning anything. If I didn’t already know it, I was not going to learn it. At jobs, if I had to learn a new skill, I quit. In personal interactions, if I did not have the social skills, I would not interact. This aversion limited my life in so many ways that in my bipolar way of thinking it was a life not worth living. That was where the change happened. At my darkest point came the realization that I did not know how to live. The worst part of that was I was so averse to learning that there was no way I could ever figure out how to live. I had to learn the skills for a good life and yet I had this great aversion, this noxious stimulus, that prevented me from even starting.
There is a saying that is attributed to several sources, but whoever said this it was spot on in this situation. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”
It was at this time that Jane appeared at a group I was forced to attend. Jane, the feisty little Brit, who changed my thinking by telling a story.
This is Janes story.
“When I was confronted with having to change I was asked a simple question.”
“Are you willing, Jane?”
To which I responded, “NO!”
They then asked, “Are you willing to be willing?”
I again said, “NO!”
They came back with, “Are you willing to be willing to be willing?”
I suddenly realized that we could be at this all day, so I replied, “Maybe.”
To which they said, “Great we can start with maybe and see how it goes.”
Then Jane said, “And that is how I started, “maybe I was willing to be willing to be willing to change. From that my willingness has grown.
That story made me realize that all I had to do was maybe be willing to learn and the rest would change with time. So right then and there I worked on becoming willing and you know what, as Jane said it would, that willingness has grown. Today I love to learn not only about my illness and how it affects me but any skill that will give me a better life.
So, I ask you, “what is the aversion that keeps you from your goal of mental wellness and what are you willing to do about it?” Is it an aversion to taking pills? Is it an aversion to speaking to those in the medical profession? Or to hospitals? Or Doctors offices? Is it an aversion to dieting that equates to an unwillingness to learn about nutrition?
It is by finding and overcoming our aversions that lets us make great strides on our journey to the pleasurable experience of mental wellness.
As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things. Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.
The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”
I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”
Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.
Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
BLOG OF THE WEEK:
Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well. This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you. I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Jane S. Hall, CSW, FIPA