We’ve all played a round of the blame game, it’s not my fault it’s theirs, his, yours; they did this to me, I had nothing to do with it. It goes on and on, circling around you but never touching you, because after all: it’s not your fault. Is it?
When you’re sick it’s easy to lay blame elsewhere, very easy. Most chronic illnesses are the fault of genetics – so what could you do about it? Most mental illnesses are the product of genetics or trauma – still not your fault right? Maybe so, but there comes a point when you’re sick (and I don’t mean with the lurgy) when you have to start standing up and taking responsibility.
Being responsible for your own recovery and finding a way to own it; and that is my mission from today.
I was talking to my mum last night and she said something to me that made me stop everything, she apologized for my predisposition to thyroid problems; as if when I was born she actively decided to hand me an auto-immune disease like some sort of family heirloom…I would never, not in a million years blame either of my parents for anything. It’s not their choice what genetic cards I was dealt when I was born, all they did was raise me, love me and make sure I had everything I ever needed and not once was there a point where either of them would have wanted to hurt me. If you are genetically predisposed to a disease you have no one to blame, not even yourself. There is no blame, that is just how it happened, like having blue eyes or curly hair, that’s how your body formed, that’s you. Sorry. All you can do is move on and find the strength to manage it in what ever way works for you.
I personally have a lot to own, there’s a lot I could have done to not end up where I am now, but I didn’t know that what I was doing to past me was hurting future me. The list of things I wish I had never done is endless:
- I wish I hadn’t spent my pocket money on sweets and sodas from the mosque show every week.
- I wish I hadn’t quit swimming as abruptly as I did.
- I wish I had asked the doctors to check my joints when they hurt instead of brushing it off.
- I wish I hadn’t used all those crazy shampoos growing up despite how much they hurt my head.
- I wish I had stuck to being gluten free even after I got better.
- I wish I had been strong enough thrown away the picture my so called friends drew of me.
The list goes on…the further back I delve the more I find I could have changed to not end up here, and as I lie in bed, fully dressed trying to summon the energy to go to work I have to celebrate the small victories – like the fact that I made my lunch last night, thank you past me.
Now I could blame my parents, my teachers, and anyone else who cared for and fed me as a child, for my food addiction. That would be easy. In the 90s we ate a lot of sugar…like, a lot…when I think back to all the food I loved as a kid and when we all get together and reminisce about the treats we used to get it goes the same way: 50 fil cans of Pepsi and Shani, Star mango juice, Prince chocolate buiscuits, Lotus buiscuits, Neons, Starburst, paint brush lollipops (ideal for turning tongue, lips and teeth a very unnatural shade of blue), Dunkaroos, doughnuts from Park n Shop, Spinneys cookies, Vimto, bottles of sherbet, sour punks, candy cigarettes, Hubba Bubba…candy and sugar for days. I’m not saying that’s all we ate though! Of course I had home cooked meals, mum cooked almost every night, but I was a fussy eater so her options were limited.
Who knew back then what was going into our food. Microwaveable, boil in a bag, cook and eat quick type foods had only been around for a couple of decades and they were all still new, shiney and unquestioned. It wasn’t unhealthy – of course with hindsight yes all processed food is unhealthy – all it was good home cooked meals. Nightly dinners of spaghetti bolognese, Mac n cheese, fish fingers and rice, chicken and apricot curry, just some of my favoutires…
My parents did their best to bring my brother and I up to be healthy, well rounded happy people but life gets in the way sometimes. For me I developed depression and an addiction to food and if I really look back it was all around the time I was bullied, but do I blame the people who hurt me? No. I’ve spent years letting go of that anger and pain but also the blame; they didn’t know what they were doing would have that kind of impact on my life more than 10 years later, they didn’t know that the names and the laughing would cause me to spiral out of control. It wasn’t their fault.
I think it’s important to state at this point that it is also not my fault. It is no ones fault. There is no one to blame. Being sick – mentally or physically – is no ones fault (obviously discounting abuse, but I’m not about to get into that pit of snakes, that’s a far deeper issue) there is no one to pin the blame on for any of this and it is important to keep that in mind when beginning the healing journey.
I have realized that in order for me to heal myself in every possible way I need to start by accepting there is no one at fault, that this was just a serious of events which have made up my life, built me into who I am today but I can overcome the hurdles and I can become healthy again. I can learn to love myself and so can everyone else.