For a relatively intelligent individual, I am pretty slow on the uptake regarding some pretty significant concepts. For example, I grew up in a family that literally did not understand me, which is fine because all people don’t understand each other. Where it gets weird is that I think I have constantly judged myself because I can’t bring them into understanding me AND I hold myself to both my own standards and their shared ones. This has set me up to constantly be in a double bind. I would have thought I’d know better by now.
It’s not just intelligence that counts, though. There are so many factors influencing my ability to relate to a situation in a mature and clear fashion.
Mental health really is a spectrum and I believe each of us has a constellation of points on the range at any given time. I’m awake and mature in areas x, y and z; I’m fully frozen in areas h through m; and all of the other letters have ranges, too, depending on who is speaking to me and how much sleep i’d gotten the night before.
I know several people that think I am legit crazy. The funny part about this is that the evidence they cite (natural approach to RA and unschooling as the easiest examples) is the very same evidence that makes me feel most awake. Who is right? Does it matter?
As I bring questions into my body and drop out of the mental assessments and stories, I realize we can only be who we are – that no one is “normal” – and who we are is also always in flux, growing, dynamic. It’s this labeling that is leading us astray. It’s also setting expectations that have nothing to do with reality. It leads to disconnection from the self and from others. We are all our own unique algorithm, and sometimes that algorithm is brilliant (each of us) and sometimes it is fragmented (i’m pretty sure that’s each of us, too. but i know it is me sometimes).
I also know that when I am in my healthiest zones of the mental health spectrum, I’m feeling connected, to myself and to others and to nature. And I know that I’m best connected when I’m tending to my connections. Some connections come naturally. some require more effort. as i practice being bodyful, it is moving from the latter to the former – it is becoming habitual for me to check in with my body and relax into the moment. It’s probably the best think I’ve done for my mental health, and when I forget to do it, i seem to ramp up in anxiety. When I remember, I am so grateful.