I will no longer see myself as someone who needs to be fixed

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By LAURA KAPONER

There is something wrong with me. I know this. I feel this. I can see this in what I say and do. Every cell of my body says there is something lurking there that does not belong.

The problem is that I can’t figure it out.

I am losing sleep over it. My mind is constantly searching through trap doors and behind curtains in hopes of some grand discovery.

I want that “aha!” moment. Because maybe if I know what it is I will know how to fix it.

How easily I forget that I am not in this search and rescue mission alone. I can’t be because I simply do not have all the tools to get the job done.

I am mentally ill, or at least I used to think I was. Now I realize my identity extends far beyond this part of me. I have a mental illness, and this illness can hold me back from seeing things clearly.

I need others with training, foresight and far more knowledge than myself to see things from the outside in. I need these same exact supports to help me see things from the inside outward.

I know something is wrong. At the very same time, I do not know what it is. This is a very scary place to be shrouded in uncertainty. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a ball and wish it all away.

But I can’t.

I need to fight this. I need to not be a victim of my circumstances. I need to be the warrior who changes them.

If I continue to see myself as someone who needs to be fixed, then I am making myself into something that is broken. Just because my pieces fit together in an uncommon way, does not mean they are not exactly as they should be.

Maybe what I think is wrong with me, is really just something that is different within me. Maybe I need to stew in the uncomfortableness of it to figure out what to do with it. And maybe I need to trust in my supports as well as myself that this perceived wrongness may be an unexpected opportunity for growth.

Laura Kaponer is a mental health advocate and blogger, as well as a volunteer with the local chapter of NAMI. You can find her on social media by searching #Laurakaponeris1in5.