|Sometimes it's easy to lash out at those close to us by telling them that they just don't understand what it's like to live with a mental illness. The thing is, that's probably true. They don't understand. But that doesn't mean that they don't have their best intentions at heart.
I would have never gotten to the point I'm at if my family would have just accepted the fact that I have a mental illness and given up on me. They had to push me to keep going and getting better. I wanted to give up on college because at one point it seemed impossible to go back and finish my degree. My family didn't accept that and it was for the best. They had to push me to expect better out of myself despite my illness.
If we convince ourselves that our mental illness is holding us back and that it's too much to overcome, then we'll never overcome it. Yes, we want those close to us to understand how hard it is to live with, but they don't want to see us just live with it--they want to see us rise above it. And sometimes we need a push to rise above it. Sometimes we can tell ourselves that just 'getting by' is good enough because, damn it, I have a mental illness.
That's using our mental illness as an excuse and you can't do that. There's no doubt about it, having a mental illness makes things harder than they might be for the average person. But that doesn't mean the mental illness makes us incapable of doing those things. It's *thinking* that our mental illness makes us incapable of doing those things that makes us incapable of doing those things--not the mental illness itself.
I got in fights with my family when they pushed me to do things that I Thought were unreasonable at the time. I got a part time job at Radioshack and was taking a full course load in college and I thought that my family was asking too much of me because I was still trying to recover from my mental illness and the idea of having a job and going to school at the same time seemed like too much to handle. And at first it kind of was, but what I found out was that I could do it. I didn't think I could,' but I could.
That's the thing--we can tell ourselves that our mental illness makes it impossible for us to do those things and when people close to us push us to do those things, it's easy to get mad and tell them that they don't understand what living with a mental illness is like, but at the same time, we don't know what we're capable of until we try it.
So when people seem to be expecting more out of you, ask yourself, is it really that they're expecting too much or could it be that you're not expecting enough out of yourself?
The thing is, if you really want to recover from your mental illness and get better, then you need to push yourself or allow yourself to be pushed. Yes, things are harder when we have a mental illness, but they're not impossible. If we actually force ourselves to do things that we think are too much for us, and we actually accomplish them, it means more to us than it means to other people, and that can do wonders for our self esteem.
So something that may not seem like a big deal to the average person can be a huge deal to us, because when we accomplish it, we can think to ourselves "i did this, even though I have a mental illness. Most people wouldn't have been able to get this done if they had a mental illness--but I did." That makes us feel so much better about ourselves and builds the confidence we need to recover form our illness and live full lives.
So when you feel like the world is asking too much from you, stop and wonder whether or not you're asking enough out of yourself.