One of my main focal points in my recovery has been increasing my mental clarity and functionality. In order to do this I had to delve into a lot of dark memories and find solutions to problems that were still lurking within my subconscious and causing me difficulties. At age 27, I was told that it would take me ten years to regain my health. This created a fervor for me to work on my mental health as much as I possibly could and to help myself get rid of the schizoaffective disorder in any way possible.
The first thing I always make certain to establish when working on a complex I have is to understand that I deserve to live a good life.
When I was in middle school, I was picked on so much that I nearly committed suicide. I didn’t want to hold onto this memory any longer. I began saying to myself, “ I did not deserve to kill myself or be told to kill myself by everyone. Be nice about this.” I don’t know why the words ‘be nice about this’ worked so well for me but I think it has something to do with taking it easy on myself instead of holding things against me that I can’t change.
The first step for me is understanding that I deserve to get over and get rid of a complex. Establishing this deservedness has helped create inclinations for me to help myself. When I have felt deserving of a good life I have been much more inclined to create that good life for myself. I’ve learned that recovery isn’t something others can do for me. I have to do it for myself. In order for me to accomplish my recovery, I have to have the motivation to work through issues which is what deservedness provides me with.
The next step I take in the process is to get rid of all the hatred I have towards either myself and or other people. I make certain to tell myself I don’t hate the kids who picked on me so much and that I forgive them. I used to get a lot of sharp pains in my heart when I thought about middle school and I thought it was anxiety. I realized that feeling was caused by hatred so I sought to get rid of all the hatred I was holding towards anyone and anything I possibly could. I came to realize that there were a lot of people and things I was hateful of. A big part of this was having gone through so many adverse years through no fault of my own from schizoaffective disorder. I had hatred towards myself, towards others, and towards a lot of different things. I came to realize that the more I expressed my hatred the worse it became. The cure for hatred was forgiveness for me.
The extent to which I forgave others started by journaling that “I forgive these people for all the things they did wrong to me”. This helped alleviate the burden but I decided to take my forgiveness to a new level. The best form of forgiveness for me was to also wish that these people went on to live good lives. It seemed ironic to me that I wanted all the people who had caused me hell for no reason to live good lives but it really seemed to work.
After coming to the decision that I didn’t want bad things to happen to the people I used to hate, I came to realize a number of things about them. I started understanding how messed up and confused they were. And how much they must have been struggling with their own lives to have treated me so poorly. I empathized and decided to “understand, not judge.” When I started putting myself in their shoes I realized that everyone has problems of their own that they’re working towards getting through. I realized that without forgiveness I would not have any friends or a family because making mistakes is very human. The other thing I realized is that I had made a number of mistakes myself.
I hated myself for some of the mistakes I had made. Forgiving others for their mistakes allowed me to forgive myself for my own mistakes. I realized my hatefulness towards myself and others was petty. After having gotten rid of it, I saw how ridiculous the whole idea of all that hatred was. It never did myself or anyone else any good. I found that getting rid of my hatred was a useful cure to a lot of negative emotions. After I started letting go of all my hatred I began becoming a lot healthier and improved immensely in my social life. There was a while where I didn’t have too many friends to hang out with and I’m getting to the point where I have more than enough people to be with which is quite a shift.
The other thing I learned is that forgiveness is a form of love for others and for myself, and it heals a lot of wounds. I used to hate others because I thought it would get rid of the negative feelings I had. I came to realize that forgiveness is a form of love and it was the only way to cure my pain. Without forgiveness we would all be individuals who just disliked and/or hated one another. However, having forgiveness keeps people united and helps to keep the fabric of relationships strong and healthy. It also helped to clarify the way I think and function mentally and make great strides in my recovery from schizoaffective disorder.