Who You Are Versus the Pills You Pop

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the topic of personality.

About how a person’s soul is animated in their body and embedded in their brain in this particular lifetime.

We cannot confuse a person’s symptoms and illness with their identity and individuality.

That is the root of what’s called “stigma”–stereotyping everyone with a mental illness based on one person’s behavior.

In fact, stigma isn’t often linked to observed actual behavior. Just to popular opinion of what it’s like to have an illness. Which is fueled by the media.

I’ve been an Activist–a Mental Health Advocate first of all–for over 17 years so far.

My stance is this: anyone who chooses not to see another person as an individual is blind.

I’ll quote from an e-mail I received:

“Those who judge don’t matter and those who matter don’t judge.”

I say: “Break bread” with others to get to know them at their soul level.

The sad fact is for too many people those of us with a mental health diagnosis are seen as an interchangeable homogeneous entity.

It’s why I refuse to divide people–either along color lines or the line of having a mental illness or not having one.

In the end, it’s simply lazy and ignorant to stereotype a person, as if they are not worth getting to know for who they are on the inside.

The truth is: our personalities are as individual as our thumbprints.

Which is the root of why I wanted to write and publish a memoir that told a good story about real people living lives apart from their illnesses.

There’s no other first-person narrative like my book Left of the Dial.

As said I’ve been thinking long and hard about how the individuality of a person diverges from their symptoms.

Who You Are Is Not the Pills You Pop.

Add the chemical cocktails we imbibe to the mix and this doesn’t alter our personality.

I want to shake the haters and ask:

“What’s up? Can’t you see that everyone is beautiful? Why are you labeling people you haven’t even met?

Why are you closed off to opening your eyes to the diversity of human beings at the soul level?”

I tell you:

Imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery. It’s the quickest route to ill health.

Be brave. Be yourself.

That’s the foolproof  recipe for success in recovery.

 

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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