Sometimes it really feels like many of us carry around all those labels our doctors and health professionals tell us we are. It’s almost as if they become what we regularly identify as, and on some level, because of it, they tend to limit us from becoming who we’re truly meant to be.
Why is it that so many often identify themselves as the health conditions doctors have given them? I recently started to observe this in a number of the addiction recovery meetings I attended. This one woman introduced herself and then suddenly went through the gamut of how she had ADD, OCD, PTSD, depression, anxiety, bi-polar, and a few other things as well. After she talked at length about each of those things, she finally began to discuss who she ultimately was beyond all that, which I found far more interesting.
But really, I get it. Doctors place these health diagnoses upon us. They tell us we have some sort of health issue or problem. What happens next is generally our minds forming a belief that we’re now somehow limited. That’s what happened to me when I first got told I had depression and possible bi-polar disorder. When that was later followed by PTSD due to my parents’ deaths and even 9/11, I felt even more limited in life. After being labeled with Fibromyalgia, prostatitis, OCD, body dysmorphic disorder, and a few other conditions, my self-esteem was essentially shot. I found myself talking about all those things to all those I’d meet, instead of all the other things that made me a really interesting guy. It was almost as if I wanted to make sure they’d still like me knowing I had so many medical problems, but all it did though was usually drive everyone away, because they never got to know the real me, the one who has plenty of interesting things to offer another. Rather, they got to know the guy with all the medical baggage, because that’s what all those diagnoses made me believe, that I was a lot of baggage.
The fact is, I’m so much more than all of those labels doctors and medical professionals gave me. That’s why I do my best these days to not discuss those things with my friends or potential friends to be because it’s draining to do so, and does nothing for improving the outlook I have on myself or my life. Behind all my physical, mental, and emotional health complexities, I actually am a pretty damn good writer and a decent public speaker. I’m also funny and witty when I want to be and can make a tense room burst out in laughter at my silly antics. In addition, I’m well-versed with anything related to television and movies, especially superhero, science fiction, and fantasy related. And I can most definitely carry on interesting conversations surrounding meditation, numerology, healing modalities, and other forms of spirituality. But as soon as I start talking about any of my medical labels, all those dynamic parts of me seem to go out the window and limit my capacity to be something a lot more in this lifetime.
What’s interesting though, is the less I’ve spoken about those medical labels, the more they haven’t controlled me and been much of a limiting factor upon my life. Sometimes I really think those diagnoses medical professionals offer end up hurting a person in the long run more than helping, because after all, being told you have a condition that causes limits tends to tell your brain you’ll be limited in life somehow from doing what “normal” people do.
You know what I say? Let go of all your diagnoses. Let go of all those labels doctors have given you over the years. Let go of the limitations those conditions supposedly create. And realize you are so much more than any of those labels put together. Just ask God, as I know He saw it long ago and still does.
All you really need to do is remind yourself that you truly are a lot more than any health acronym or medical diagnosis or mental health label or condition some doctor or professional has given you. Listen to your Spirit and let it guide you beyond the walls and limits that your mind has created from those health things you were branded with. As in doing so, I think you’ll start seeing that you are far more interesting of a person than you may have ever allowed yourself to see or be…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson