“My disability was my justification! It was my excuse for failing to engage with the world.”
~ The Arbinger Institute, The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict ~
Justification - My Excuse for Failing to Engage with the World
The quote above carries a lot of weight with me right now. It is what I have been feeling and doing for the past few years, and for a good part of my life. I have said before that sometimes being in the dark place can almost feel comfortable and somewhat safe. It is far from safe, but, since it is what you are used to it becomes familiar.
I now realize that I was using depression and it’s symptoms to disengage from the world. The more detached that I become, the more isolated I would feel. When I reach the feeling of isolation, it gets easier to “justify” my feelings of sadness, depression, and lonesomeness. The word justify has been used by Carpenters, years ago, talking about fixing a crooked wall. So, in our mind when we try to justify something, our mind is trying to fix something that needs to be straightened. If you notice yourself “justifying” something, step back and figure out what it is that you are trying to straighten.
Basically, whatever condition that you are dealing with, can become your excuse for not engaging with the world. We have to guard against numbing ourselves to the world and those around us. We cannot shut people out and then be upset when they are not there. Many people will not work hard enough, or understand what is happening, to stick with you when you push them away.
Justification can keep us in a vicious cycle, no matter what behavior we are justifying. It causes hatred, and mistreatment of people, and in this case, to us. I believe that this is a big part of treating us and everyone around us better. Stop treating yourself like crap and you can begin treating other’s better.
Knowing this will not stop me from being depressed or feeling anxious, but it is another tool for me to use. Hopefully this will shorten the length and depth of the trips to the dark place. Let's treat each other like people and not objects.