Thursday, February 23, 2012

Can You Really Hate Everything?

There are many different aspects to mental illness that we do not realize are part of the illness. A common symptom of mental illness that often goes unrecognized is hating everything. This is when you hate everything that you have on your schedule, regardless of the fact that it is an activity you love. It stresses you out to even think that you have to go and it makes you feel tired and annoyed when you wake up in the morning seeing the tasks you have to do for the day. Yet, when you actually go to the event or perform the task, you like it.

For instance, you might dread your job, but actually love it when you are there. You might be planning to go to a movie with friends but find yourself annoyed that you have to get in the car and drive there.

I used to think this hating everything meant that I was just lazy. Or, in the early days, I thought I really actually hated things that I loved, which was not good because sometimes I would quit something that I actually liked. 

What my therapist has helped me realize is that this hating everything is just part of my illness. It does not really mean that I am unhappy with what I am doing or that I am lazy and just want to sit around all day. It is just a glitch in my brain. For some of us with mental illness, tasks seem overwhelming and it is that anxiety over the tasks that makes you feel like you hate them.

In order to overcome this hating everything issue, I am working on being more mindful. Just recognize that I am anxious about doing something, but don't give into the anxiety and feeling like I hate everything. Instead I just try to remind myself that once I get there I will like it and let that feeling of dread go.

For me, just knowing that this is part of the illness and that I don't really hate everything is really helpful. It helps me go and do what I had planned anyway. It helps me stick with things I love doing instead of letting the anxiety of it get to me.

Rev. Katie

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