Why be embarrassed about your past? However, hugging all of ourselves is tough.

My readers on here only know the Scott who has degrees and manages his Bipolar 1 and recovering PTSD well. I am fifty, some reads know this, however this Scott only started to shine in the last couple years in terms of good mental health management and the tertiary education evolving over the last decade.

Scott prior to this was a challenging person to be around to say the least.

  1. Manic most of the time
  2. Inpatient
  3. Irrational
  4. Often grumpy and critical
  5. Obsessive
  6. Did not like himself
  7. Misunderstood love.
  8. People pleaser
  9. Poor money management
  10. Poor business management
  11. High school drop out
  12. Know it all
  13. Argumentative
  14. Anti education
  15. Insensitive
  16. Could not write essays at all
  17. Terrible spelling
  18. Never read books
  19. Hated religion
  20. Compulsive spender.

I could add more, but you get the picture. Keep in mind, I called myself Christian and volunteered, attended church services and all the other things Christi do. I earnestly at sort Gods forgiveness through Christ and tried my best to live up to the ideals.

So what was wrong? Undiagnosed mental illnesses. Back issues that continued to be pushed aside and not medically attended to. In short, I was a medical disaster waiting to have finally imploded, at 40 I collapsed and had no choice except to face up to.

1. Who I really was.

2. My medical conditions

3. My anxiety and fears

4. My terrible relationships.

5. My financial collapse

6. Poor education

7. Medical interventions

8. Failed parenting

9. Forgiveness

10. Learning to love myself

Lists don’t tell the whole story, however, they give you a birds eye view. It’s been a tough ten years rebuilding and coming to terms with so much.

Where I am today, consequently, in a situation of peace that offers so much and did not happen by magic or positive thinking. It happens throughout education and patience mostly. This list is also only some aspects of change.

1. Formal education

2. Processing lived experiences better.

3. Listening To wise council

4. Good mental health management

5. Listening to exceptional medical professionals

6. Persistence

7. Keeping a open mind

8. Dropping unhealthy cultural norms.

9. Willingness to change

10. Stop looking and blame externals all the time

Understandably, it’s much more complicated in reality. Nevertheless it is so simple on many levels too. I have to mention the Christian religion did not offer much when I was unwell, in terms of understanding poor mental health. Regrettably, because of the soul and spirit belief they of thinking your soul is possessed or you have some generational spiritual dysfunction. I.e curses. This idea that God fixes mental illnesses are unhelpful and often counter productive in terms of people following medical advice in terms of pharmaceutical interventions. Mostly uneducated nominal Christian fall into this class. Yet, I recalled ministers subscribing to this medieval nonsense on occasions too.

In terms of my Buddhist experiences, I have encountered plenty of monks who have said, they still, ordain laypersons with mental health illness and conditions providing they are managing well with their medical professionals. The monks I have met seem to understand that suffering is something all of us have in different ways and don’t see mental illness as sinister.

My efforts to manage my mental illness well have paid off in all ares of my life. Unfortunately, some people, especially, some family members only see old Scott. There in absolutely convinced like land who are ignorant that people never change.

The Dhama has offered much and my spiritual practices have encouraged me.

‘Now when a monk… attending to another theme… scrutinizing the drawbacks of those thoughts… paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts… attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts… beating down, constraining and crushing his mind with his awareness… steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it and concentrates it: He is then called a monk with mastery over the ways of thought sequences. He thinks whatever thought he wants to, and doesn’t think whatever thought he doesn’t. He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and — through the right penetration of conceit — has made an end of suffering and stress.

MN 20 
PTS: M i 118
Vitakkasanthana Sutta: The Relaxation of Thoughts
translated from the Pali by 
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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