So, in order for me to "get better", and overcome my "problems" in the absence of a supportive environment, I don't have to learn how to be "like other people"; I have to learn how to be stronger (more resilient) than other people. Some people have to develop very sophisticated adaptive responses merely to perform actions that other people take for granted.
I think this perspective is frequently lost in conversations about mental health. The people who are unwell are often living in environments and with conditions that would make anyone unwell. And yet we expect these people to be as functional as people who do not have to live with those conditions. How is a person to become stronger than a normal, well-adjusted person?
I recently came to this conclusion.
For myself, I realised recently just how ****ed up my childhood was, and why I am the way I am, and have the struggles I have. I realised it required me becoming *more* resilient than normal, being stronger than normal, because of the barriers that my (perfectly reasonable) childhood adaptations to the environment created, that now make me dysfunctional.
None of that was my fault. But it is my responsibility to take on that objective to become better than normal, because who else is going to do it for me? So that is what I have to do.
It would just be easier if "mental illness" wasn't framed by society as a fault within the individual. Its not. It never is, it cant be (it can only be a combination of genes, childhood environment and general social conditions, there isn't anything else at all!). Rather than people with mental health issues being stigmatised and thought of as less than, it should be seen in the same way as someone who gets their legs blown off in a war. And then has to somehow drag themselves around everywhere.
Someone who recovers from significant mental illness, enough to function on some halfway normal level is a ****ing hero, tbh, that's how hard it is.