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Forums / Staying well / Getting rid of magical thinking

Topic: Getting rid of magical thinking

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. mercymaybe
    mercymaybe avatar
    5 posts
    8 August 2015

    Though I'm going through a rough patch now, I thought I might share the thing that has enabled me to change and grow and speak up about my mental illness!

     

    and it's getting rid of magical thinking.

     

    whats magical thinking? it's the daydream that 'one day I will be back to normal'. it's focusing on an imagined recovery, versus living day to day.

     it seems harsh, but I cannot tell you how saying to myself 'ok if this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life, then I have to deal with it!'

     acceptance of being mentally ill, of dealing with the symptoms made all the difference to me.

     we talk a lot about society accepting mental illness, but as important is that we accept our own mental illness. 

     once I was no longer battling myself, no longer thinking 'when I get better'

     if there is no better, then I still have to live! get on with my day to day life, just do the best I can.

     some people say it's a defeatist attitude but honestly it's not.

    being realistic and saying to myself, you've had these issues your entire life, you can't let the concept of 'recovery' hold you stagnant now...

    it made such a big change, and it was then that I was able, for the first time to begin accepting help. 

     of course I still struggle, and this is really only applicable to those of us with long term mental health issues, but I encourage other people to look honestly at themselves and say 'rather then wait for recovery to live my life, I'm going to take it one step at a time and start now'

    4 people found this helpful
  2. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    10 August 2015 in reply to mercymaybe

    Dear MM

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for such a positive message. While it is good to have a goal, just dreaming about reaching it means nothing will happen. I wonder how often we do this with any of our life's goals.

    I believe the other side of magical thinking is believing that 'someone' will accomplish the deed for us. Usually it is the therapist placed in the role of healer, but sometimes other people. The attitude is that I do not need to do anything and X will do all the hard work while I go along for the ride. In some ways of course, this is true. We do rely on our therapists to show us the way and give a helping hand. But it is, as you say, up to each individual to accept the illness and get on with living and healing.

    I think we can heal to some extent. It's not wishful thinking to expect to get better, even if not totally cured. What we learn is manage our individual symptoms and foibles, to know and understand what is happening and put in place the mechanisms we need to have the best life possible.

    So thank you for reminding us of reality. I found this quote some years ago and while it is not exactly correct I think the sentiment applies.

    Life is an endless struggle, full of frustrations and challenges.
    But eventually you find a hairstylist you like.

    Enjoy

    Mary

  3. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    16251 posts
    10 August 2015 in reply to mercymaybe
    dear Mercymaybe, an interesting post, however there are stages before you can accept what you have said, because when you first of all become depressed your mind is not open in accepting or realising that 'this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life, then I have to deal with it' as this is furthest from our mind, it's only when we can some hope and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Geoff.

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