Celebrating Ourselves

I wrote years ago at HealthCentral a news article titled Celebrating Ourselves in Recovery.

The central premise of my memoir Left of the Dial is that you’re not going to be happy or healthy trying to alter who you are to please others in society.

Face it: mental illnesses are real medical conditions. The bigots that exist in society against those of us who are perceived as being “crazy” are hardly experts who know what they’re talking about. Why should we value their opinion? Why should we let what they think dictate how we feel about ourselves?

I propose that each of us celebrates ourselves. We can write a pact to love, honor, respect, have faith in, and trust that which makes ourselves and others different.

Going off my medication to prove I was normal backfired. I don’t recommend this option. You can read in the memoir about this early start to my recovery.

I don’t understand how anyone can be a bigot. The Bible tells us to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” That verse conveniently gets forgotten when it comes to LGBT individuals and anyone else people stand in judgment against.

Here’s my thought on this: why do we even need to preface the word individual with LGBT or separate people based on one of their features?

I refuse to join in the hate and the violence and the anger in the world. It’s too late in the history of humans for us to keep acting bigoted towards others.

I’ll end here by stating that in the memoir I touch on this fear of being labeled as a crazy person. It could be a universal fear for a lot of us.

I propose that each of us stops living in fear of what other people think.

Living your life left of the dial allows you to live life in balance and in a happy and healthy way.

Each of us is the expert on our own recovery and our own life.

The bigots are the ones who need help. We need to forgive them. We need to pray that one day they will be healed of their disease.

I’ll talk next in here about my own kind of salve for trying to change myself so that people would accept me.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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