The Building Blocks of My New Path. Managing My Disorder, Owning It & Talking About It. (A life update)

My disorder is not my identity

I’m changing and for the better. Little by little, changes are becoming apparent to me.

The last time I posted, was in June and as you all know, I tend to go radio silent for a while. I run out of things to say, to express and share so I take a break and live my life and see what comes of it so that I can come back here and share it with you.

Many things have changed, some for the better and some for the worse. I managed to find a place where I could earn a bit of extra cash during the week. I’m not actually employed by the company however the owner was and is going through a tough time and needed an extra pair of hands to manage their store. It’s actually an art gallery. This is pretty perfect for me as I love looking at art and I have such respect for artists. I get lost in some of the paintings and my imagination runs wild with the abstract pieces. To be honest, some of the paintings make me want to cry, they are just that beautiful.

Another positive element of hanging around here is that I learn a whole bunch of new skills. Not just the generic managing the store, there are plenty of other things as well for instance social marketing and networking which is something I have been interested in for quite some time so this gives me that experience and lays down the first couple of new blocks for my path going forward.

I feel that I have been managing my mental health much better lately. My dosage has been reduced a tiny smidge which is a win. I breathe to calm myself down almost every day. I apply the CBT techniques to get facts over difficult situations. It has not been easy. I had a panic attack at the art gallery a few weeks ago which really took a toll on me and I felt like such a failure at that moment that I almost wanted to quit BUT progress is progress no matter how little it seems.

I have also become extremely open with my condition. Where I stay the stigma over mental health and what people say about individuals who have to be admitted to our mental health clinic is sad. I say this because sometimes it’s the same people who fuel the stigma who actually need the help the clinic offers. I’m kind of done being subtle about it in my town.

My disorder is not my identity. I am Ryan, I love nerd and geek things. I love to play video games, I enjoy photography, I try to help people where I can, I have a six-year-old daughter and I MANAGE my mental health disorder.

My goal going forward is to help others do the same. I don’t how or when yet, but I’ll figure it out.