I am not going to lie there have been many times in the past several years when I have pondered what my life would have looked like if I had never gotten sick. I not so quickly learned that we do not control what disease we get but we do get to decide how we deal with it.
I have often spoken about the losses that occur from having a mental illness. But I have not mentioned the gains. Most likely I would not be living in West Virginia, but I have grown to love where I live and appreciate the beauty. I would not be here to look after my mother and she does need my help. I would never have met such outstanding young people who I have coached and trained in basketball.
I would not have learned how fortunate my life has been in spite of my challenges, many others who live with mental illness have seen their opportunities be limited.
I would not have met the countless people who have shared their personal journeys with me. So blessed to be a listening ear.
I get to watch my great nephew grow up and play video games with him. It’s a real gift when a young person thinks your “cool.”
So my point is sometimes it is easy to focus on all the negative when we get unexpected detours in life. But when you think about it the journey might have become much more interesting. I know my life lessons are far more diverse than I could have ever imagined.
I am not happy about having a mental illness, but I am content with my life and where it is headed. There is great peace in that.