who are dealing, or have dealt with a mental disorder, usually avoid
soul-searching in order to discover the positive outcomes of the
problem they have faced. Sometimes the hurdle has been so
overwhelming and has led to intense feelings of despair, and
therefore this soul-searching has not occurred to those people. Yet
reflecting on the period that has passed since the hardship, might
raise some insights about positive consequences of the obstacle
faced. Normally, people tend to dwell on the negative outcomes of
their misfortunes, while searching for positive outcomes seems
unnatural and out of place, you must do so! Learn from your
experiences, embrace your treatment and move forward with better
During the last meeting with the
self-help and support group I conducted at "Enosh" (an Israeli
organization supporting those dealing with mental
disabilities/disorders and their families), I asked the group
members to share the positive outcomes of their disabilities.
Normally, it is harder to focus on
the donut than on the hole, in terms of personal life experiences.
Speaking for myself, I sat down one day and made a list of the
positive outcomes of dealing with my own problems.
Since I got help, my outlook
changed and I can give of myself so everyone involved is happier?, I
used to be rather self-centered, regarding myself as an omnipotent
person, who was able to do everything he set out to do. I have
learned that I must set boundaries for myself.
I have learned to say ''no'' when
necessary, and mainly do things which give me pleasure. I used to be
reluctant about doing things I didn't want to do. I have learned to
do only what I love and enjoy doing. Thanks to my challenges, I met
a wonderful woman, who totally accepts me, who gives me the space to
do almost everything I do, and is supportive and backs me no matter
what I do. My family has been more sensitive to my needs and
desires, and so has my employer, as well as any other people or
entities in my life. I would like to emphasize that I do not take
advantage of that tolerance. I certainly put forth the effort, and
prove myself and my abilities despite all that I have been through,
even more so than in the past.
found various new areas of interest and have had an opportunity to
develop some previously unknown talents and skills, of which I was
never aware of before, as I never had the means, the patience or the
time to work on them. I developed my writing skills and continually
As a young boy, I loved writing
stories and poems. Throughout life, I let that passion fall to the
wayside. My experience has evoked a strong need to express myself
through writing all that I have been going through, to this very
day. This skill of mine is becoming more refined each day. By all
means, writing enables one to go wild, flying on the wings of
imagination, regardless of any rules. It grants a person the
opportunity to be transported and wander into new, dazzling worlds
without leaving the comfort of home.
I am more sensitive to others. I
don't dwell on anger and don't let it build up inside me until I
explode. If something bothers me, I will immediately get it off my
chest. The ability to do so is especially healthy in the Israeli
culture, and in light of the general atmosphere. Contrary to what so
many others think, I believe the healthy way to deal with anger
promotes goodness, though it makes people from other cultures regard
Israelis as abrupt, rude people.
I have led a more peaceful life,
focusing more on spending time with my family and less effort on
gathering material things. Instead of striving for a prosperous
career, my previous foremost goal, now I give of myself to others. I
concentrate on using my free time constructively, doing things I
Although some of my friends
abandoned me, I have formed other good unions with people who can
relate to what I have been going through.
I am not afraid of exposure. I am
proud to open up about my own story, without being concerned about
prejudice. I walk with my head held high.
Although I continue to be involved
with many projects at once, something I used to do before, those
projects are interesting and I feel connected to whatever I set out
to do. I willingly work on them, and do so with all my heart and
soul. Thus, there is no chance they will do me any harm.
I have started taking interest in
many other fields, which used to be merely a dream. I realized that
one may contribute to the Israeli society even without doing reserve
service, and stand up by your own right despite that.
Always keep in mind, the positive
aspects outweigh the negative when overcoming your adversities. I
make it a point to build a strong foundation, stronger than the one
I used to have. That way, I know that if a storm comes again in the
future, I will not be caught off guard, and all that I have worked
for and achieved will remain.
Written by Ronen David ©
back to Articles Main Page