Counsellor Sarah Barr says that we shouldn't define ourselves by labels; instead, let's focus on what makes us unique!
We grow up with labels that are used to define us. These labels can be attached by other people and even by ourself at times. Society, family, social media, work and friends all play a role in this process.
Labels can be positive and give us a sense of meaning and are often a source of pride. Sadly they can also be damaging and negative. Our mental health is often used as a label, which can often come with a negative stereotype.
Whether it is an Anxiety Disorder, Depression, PND or Bi-Polar we should not feel that this only defines us.
Labels on jars fully describe what’s inside the jar. It breaks down the content and lets us now whether there is anything dangerous inside. Its quite black and white.
We are not jars….we are much more complex. Life is not black and white. Sadly labels that some people attach to those who have a mental illness can be negative and hurtful. These can include ‘crazy’, ‘attention-seeking’ and ‘weak’.
These labels are false, rude, out dated, damaging and simply untrue. Those who live daily with a mental illness are strong, brave and can be facing a fight each day to hide how they’re really feeling.
If someone has a physical illness such as a broken arm would they face negative stigma?
Of course they wouldn’t.
Just like a physical illness a mental illness CAN affect anyone at anytime…no-one is exempt.
At times labels, whether you see them as a positive or a negative, can be useful. They may:
- Teach you things about yourself that you never knew.
- Show you strength that you never knew you had.
- Help you grow in awareness and empathy.
However be careful as they do not define you….remember you are not a jar. You are something much more special.
You are much more than five or six words. You are just not a mother, sister, nurse, runner, intelligent or depressed.You are your experiences, feelings, actions, influence on others and so much more.
Your mental health does not define you. You are so much more than your mental illness.
You are a person first with wonderful attributes that is capable of so much.
Don’t let someone else define you with their labels.
Create your own positive labels.
So lets keep the ‘Labels’ for jars…and focus on everything that makes you who you are!
If you’re feeling lost and don’t know who you are anymore. There is help and support available. There is people you can talk too who will listen and help you lean new tools that will help you find you again.
You do not have to go through this alone.
If you would like to find out what help is available in your area i can be contacted confidentially through my Facebook page or by calling 0864477867.
Take Care ~ Sarah.