After Reading This, Stop It or Justify It


Practically every drinking-age adult has, at one time or another, usually while extremely drunk, publicly pronounced their ideas, sentiments, questions, ultimatums, proposals, tantrums or a million different things which, under normal circumstances, i.e. sober, would never eek past their lips.  These are gargantuan declarations!  These are reasons for avoidance, distance, even termination.

And usually forgiven and forgotten.  And rarely, if ever, does the persecution of both the drunk and the debacle continue on for years.

So why can’t people who live with mental illness be granted the same degree of forgiveness after a manic episode that left behind a degree of destruction comparable to that of a bender?

Why is being out of my mind different than drunk out of my skull?  How are the senseless rantings of a brain gone haywire different than the senseless expletives and threats of harm screamed during labor?  Is it easier to forgive mistreatment when you understand the cause and empathize with the sufferer? 

Our society (by-and-large) is hell-bent on maintaining a safe distance, a polite disinterest, and muted intolerance of mental illness by refusing to educate itself.  Does the defense I most often hear, “It’s because they don’t understand what you’re going through,” justify bullying, abuse, denial, exclusion or acrimony?    What is it about mental illness that the majority of American’s find impossible stand?   It’s ignorance; civil ignorance.  If you’re ignorant you’re not required to empathize.  So educated people can mistreat me due to their ignorance of my disease.

Maybe that’s why there are people (who used to be close friends) that remain angry about what I said four years ago while I was losing my mind.  Because they have a right to be as ignorant about my mental illness as they like, but I’ve got to watch my P’s and Q’s so I don’t piss anyone off while I’m in a manic phase.

Why is forgiveness conditional?

3 thoughts on “After Reading This, Stop It or Justify It

  1. I don’t believe anyone has the right tocritize those people who happen to have a mental illness, or for that matter any illness. Some people do not understand how any illness affects a person. Therefore, they choose to ignore, belittle or close themselves off from the person that has the illness. Forgiveness is suppose to be unconditional, but few people actually do this. Some actually are afraid to forgive, because they are afraid of the consequences they may suffer, ie: loss of others friendship, loss of job.

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  2. Forgiveness is conditional because, by and large, people don’t really know how to forgive. In order to forgive, one must forget and forgetting the ‘bad’ stuff is not something that is easy to do.

    If people would learn to look at the circumstances of an issue they would be much better able to forgive and forget. But, most people can’t/won’t see past their own noses. Plus, for whatever reason, fear, ignorance, stupidity, lazyness… they find it hard to forgive and accept. Maybe it’s because they are afraid that, if they forgive a slight done to them by a person with a mis-firing brain, they will be grouped in with the ‘offending’ person?

    I do not know the answers. I wish I did.

    I wish you peace, my dear uncle.

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  3. Mental illness is simply not a “relatable” disease to those who have not suffered with it. Most people have been drunk – they’ve been there and can excuse just about any behavior. To the uninformed, there is no seperation between the “healthy” minded person and the same person during an episode of manic or depressive behavior. To the uneducated, there is only one person standing before them with one brain. Distinguishing between the illness and the person takes knowledge, patience and a willingness to look beyond the isolated behavior to the beautiful person you are.

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