BEES- Not Letting Mental Illness Sting you
Don’t let the bees in your life sting your mental health!
I know that I can’t tan. You can tell just from looking at me. I am a pale skinned redhead that grew up in the Pacific Northwest where it is only sunny three months out of the year. Thus, my point being, I have no tanning practice. To be honest, I hated the sun and everything that it stands for when I was growing up. For example, heat, sunburns, dehydration, too bright to see, sweat, blooming plants=allergies, hikes, eating out outside, bugs, yard work, etc. The hatred was real and I much preferred to stay inside a dark cold room playing video games and circumvent all of these things.
As I have gotten older, I started to develop a delicate relationship with the sun. I was like a little duckling standing at the water’s edge, dipping my foot in the water to see if it was going to be okay. Everyone around me quit their day jobs to try to coax me out of my Sim abyss, where I was very happy to stay, thank you very much. Here is the funny thing; once I started to come outside, I learned to love to be in the sun. It is nice and warm and allergy medicine is a thing! I also started my mass collection of freckles! I may not tan, but at least I can get freckles that can help me have some color!
I promise you that I have a point to telling you all of this.
As a college student who is a glutton for punishment, I decided to stay in school over the summer. Call me crazy, but it has actually been kind of nice as I can sit all over campus and enjoy the sun without a ton of other students around me. But, I have a problem… Everywhere I go to sit to write or do homework it’s not long after I get comfortable that a bee shows up… Without fail and what isn’t fair is that the bee will only buzz around me and no one else. #WhyMe #WhatHaveIDoneToDeserveThis #BeeGone!
I have the “Bee Go Away” dance completely choreographed and memorized because it happens all the time. I have sat still, I have ducked, I have gotten up and stood there probably looking deranged because others see me acting strangely but don’t see anything out of the ordinary. When people give me the weird looks I just give a nervous chuckle and say, “It’s a bee.” I can’t figure out what draws them to me. Is it how I smell or the color of my hair? I know that it’s not always food… Because they come anyway!!!
I know weird that I spend my time writing about mental health, but here I am contemplating the patterns of bees. But, when I was walking home one day (it’s about a 30-minute walk so I have a lot of time to rock out to Shawn Mendes) I started comparing my bee problem to life and this is what I came up with.
Bees are like people. I find in my life I attract a certain kind of person and I tend to make better friends with some more than others and then some that aren’t good for me at all. I try to be nice and generous but sometimes they end up draining me or using me and nobody wants to feel that way. I have been walked over and told some things not worth repeating, but when struggling to heal from my mental illness, I had some people who wouldn’t let go of the thought that it was all in my head (well… awkward…). They didn’t agree with the decisions that I was making and told me that some days of rest would solve the problem or to just get over it. I liken this to the “Bee go away” dance.
In the beginning, I was skeptical about accepting that I had a physically medical problem in my brain that required professional help because my down days were turning into weeks and months. I had a few great run ins with therapists that almost made me quit trying to find professional help.
For example, I was contacted by a therapist through a referral to someone else. She called me up on the phone and before she even said hello after my initial greeting she asked, “Are you stable?” Okay… Are you? Because I am pretty sure that I don’t know you nor do you know me. (No, I didn’t say these things, but in hindsight I wished I did.) I refused to go see her.
Depending on the kind of person you are, you will attract different people to you. It’s as simple as that. I realized that when I was at my weakest point, I was attracting those who treated me as a project or those who knew they could push me around and that was the last thing I needed. I was afraid to let anyone go because then I would be alone to deal with the skeletons in my closet alone. However, I stood my ground and continued to work and do anything to help myself heal and it has taken me a good two years to be in the happy place that I find myself in today.
The better and the stronger I got, I realized that I didn’t have to keep what was hurting me with the fear of being alone. I could become the person I wanted to be with. I could attract the butterflies instead of the bees! So that is what I started doing. I didn’t have to stay seated and just wait to be stung. I was free to get up and leave!
When coping and healing with mental illness, it feels like you don’t have a choice a lot of the time and you feel trapped stuck by the hive being stung over and over. It is a vicious cycle that can be broken with hard work, determination, and bravery. Healing is scary and sometimes requires more pain before it can get better.
But remember this. You always have the choice to walk away from the bees in your life to search for butterflies. You don’t have to be stung over and over again for what is said to you or your mental illness. You are you, you have your agency, use it.
Now excuse me as I finish there… A bee is bothering me again. (Rolls eyes)
YouTube Episode Available — Click to Watch : 37. BEES- Not Letting Mental Illness Sting You