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Take Responsibility

I Really Want to Get Better

Photo by Will H McMahan

Day 16 08/06/2018

Hey everyone, welcome back to day 16. I thought this would be a good topic to talk about that kind of goes along with discipline. And that is taking responsibility. But what do I mean by that? Because surely it is not my fault that there is a chemical imbalance inside my brain. And no I’m not going to tell you that depression is a choice. Because it isn’t. But at some point of our recovery process, we do have to take some responsibility for our actions.

And I’m not saying you need to be aware of your actions while you are hallucinating and matters like that. Because that’s not how it works. Trust me, I’ve been there before. But once we become adults, our health is in our own hands. Our parents aren’t taking us to the doctor anymore, they aren’t feeding us anymore, or making sure we are taking our medication. And we can’t keep blaming our parents for our inappropriate behavior. Yes, I am going to be giving you guys some tough love. And as much as it sucks and it’s not easy to hear, we all need it so we can finally be in control of our lives.

So, I didn’t grow up in the best household. And if my parents are reading this, I am sorry, but I’m going to tell my story. So without being too specific let’s say one had a terrible drinking problem, the other is apathetic towards other people and has extreme anger issues. And I rarely ever heard the words, “I love you.” I'd show up to school without any lunches. And some abuse and lies took place in my home.

That being said, the way my parents treated me doesn’t give me the excuse to be rude and hateful. I can’t just say, “Well that’s what I’ve been taught.” No, I had to teach myself. We don’t only learn from our parents. We learn from friends, their families, teachers, coworkers, the people of the church, and so on. And we might learn some bad habits, but if we surround ourselves with a few good people, they can teach us how our actions are impacting the lives of others and decide to get help from there.

We have to be responsible when we hurt others and ourselves. If someone communicates to us that we hurt him/her. Then we need to look at our actions and see what we can change for the better. No, we aren’t able to please everyone. But I have learned it is much better to take responsibility so I don’t keep making the same mistakes. And I don’t want to keep hurting others. Being constantly defensive and argumentative doesn’t solve our problems. Also, if I self harm, no one forced me to do it. Sure I can explain that my emotions became so overpowering from a specific situation. But when it comes down to it, I did this to myself when I could’ve handled it better and used positive coping mechanisms.

But despite all of the good advice that is out there to prevent us from getting so bad, we let our depression consumers. “We are what we repeatedly do.” Aristotle. And sometimes we become toxic to ourselves and others. We push our loved ones away. We’ve known this disease for so long that we’re scared to live beyond this point. Soon after everyone is gone we realize we didn’t take care of ourselves like we needed to. We didn’t try enough. We gave up too quickly. And as awful as it sounds, we are somewhat responsible even though we are sick.

We always hear the argument, “Our Mental Health should be treated just as fairly as our physical health.” Which is true. They are both important. But unfortunately, most of us are not giving society a good enough reason to treated fairly. When we are sick with the flu, for example, we don’t get better by pointing fingers because Tommy here came to work sick. No, Tommy shouldn’t be sick at work, and we can learn from this mistake for the next time. But now that I am currently sick with the flu, pointing my finger is is it going to take the sick away. I’m not going to get better if I don’t eat anything at all. I’m not going to get better if I don’t go to the doctor and if I don’t take my medicine. I’m not going to get better if I’m not physically active for at least some small portion of the day. And we all know that. But when it comes to mental elements we think pointing fingers will solve the problem. And we don’t take any responsibility because we are sick. But we expect society to treat mental Elysses just like physical illnesses. Yet we don’t treat them the same ourselves. So let’s give them a reason for fair treatment. Let’s work together and take responsibility.

“When we speak, we will have either life or death on our tongues. When others violate us, and we feel controlled or coerced and start to point our fingers and blame of the world, we cannot forget our free will.” (Page 220 The Return by Lacey Sturm)

“But once we can bring ourselves to realize that we have chosen and created the clutter, the congestion, and the confusion of our lives, we are free to choose to be rid of it.” (Page 143 Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly)

Journal 08/06/2018

This is my fault. I’m not trying hard enough to get better. I haven’t been eating properly. I haven’t been taking my meds like I should be. I’m not getting enough exercise or sleep. But today I went for a walk, ate three meals, took a nap, and showered. Even though I felt miserable this morning, I feel better now. I was starting to take care of myself again and it feels pretty great. I want to continue to make progress. Hang out with the right people, not just some random lost souls because I’m lonely. People do care about me and I need to be more thankful. I am happy that I am alive.

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