Does anybody else struggling with mental illness feel like they don’t know themselves? Like they know the minds of other people more intimately than their own? With obsessive-compulsive traits, past trauma, severe depression, and anxiety, I am finding it nearly impossible to know myself, although I’ve reached my late 30’s. I attempt to reach way back in time to childhood in order to grasp the essence of myself, before I was changed by my world, by the version of the world that was shown to me, the only world I knew, before it had time to make its mark. Then I realize even as a young child my mental health issues had already started to present, as the daughter of one parent diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder with histrionic traits and another codependent, weak parent and severe depression, as well. I consider the possibility I have never been me, but instead always a character crafted by my circumstances, experiences, and genetics. Does that take away my humanity? Aren’t animals simply results of their instincts and past owners? Am I really shy and introverted? Or is that the anxiety and depression masking a confident, extraverted personality? Am I pensive and contemplative, nerdy and “book smart”, or is that the obsession with my thoughts? Would I be more flaky and carefree? Am I a “born leader” or is that me desperately attempting to control my own life as well as those around me? Am I a committed advocate for social change, a good progressive, or simply addiction to the negativity I have come to know and expect, similar to my current addiction to food which has caused me to blow up to over 300 pounds?
Anyway, just some thoughts.