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Forums Forums Business Interesting how mental illness can make you adapt and surprising skills that I’ve acquired, including ways to saving lives and making money. Anyone else experience this? : mentalhealth

  • Interesting how mental illness can make you adapt and surprising skills that I’ve acquired, including ways to saving lives and making money. Anyone else experience this? : mentalhealth

     Arianna updated 2 years, 10 months ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Arianna

    January 17, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    I know, i know, some may say this is romanticism of mental illness but that’s not my goal here. There’s so many times that my health has nearly cost my life and negatively impacted those i love. I’m not discounting or negating that fact.

    However, i do want to acknowledge that everyone has strengths and the experiences we go through can cause for some interesting and surprising adaptations for us to survive in the world that on occasion may provide an advantage from time to time. So no, not romanticism, just adaptive learning that many haven’t grown a skill for.

    For example, my diagnoses in order of when i got them between the ages of 23 to 34 and now 35 fyi… Anxiety, depression, bipolar, panic disorder, adhd, ptsd and autism (Aspergers). So, some particular “flavors” or “traits” that it shows is that when i do something, that’s all that i do. Doesn’t matter if it’s positive like cooking, sewing, working, contacting people or sabotaging behavior like watching videos in bed when i need to start my day, spending money i don’t have or playing games when i should be working/cleaning. The end result is chronic disorganization and many things (and often people) get pushed aside. So, most of my life I’ve lived in mild to moderate hoarding conditions. Yes, this has and still has negative impacts on my life, no denial there.

    But there’s an interesting fact i noticed…

    What do people who have hoarding behaviors have in common with pecan pickers?

    They are able to step lightly so they don’t break what they find valuable and look at the small details of a pile to find what they want inexplicably faster than most people. So, i was laid off my job and needed some cash for Christmas. I live in a part of the country that buys pecans wholesale from growers and the public which usually pays 3× or more what collecting cans does. It was already late in the season with only about 3 weeks of a 3 month season left. My mom owns about 5 mature pecan trees and i got permission to pick in her neighbor’s yard while he was gone. In that amount of time with very little day light (i can’t ever get out of bed before noon) with a rake, leaf blower and a couple storage bins, i picked over 200 lbs by myself. Most people do that over the entire season. So, i was able to pay my phone bill and get gas money so i could do other gigs while waiting for more work to come it.

    I also have used my lack of selective attention and hyperfocus to produce alot of sewing projects. I made my winter wardobe one year in one day. Also, i even turned some of my “negative” flavors of binging YouTube into saving the lives of kittens and prevented a kidnapping for someone else (don’t recommend. Please learn to stay alert of your surroundings at all times and know how-to describe your location quickly and accurately at all times. Something i learned from work. Long story)
    Also, since i have attention and memory problems, i have learned to never rely on memory at all. So i have gotten really good at using google products, namely google docs. So i can send my resume on command, remember important medical info for myself or animals, be able to reference facts people told me etc. The way it has helped me the most was being the sole witness to a car accident. I knew the police weren’t going to come since it was a busy weekend. So i wrote down what i saw and google docs has a time stamp. Now the poor guy has to go to court and i don’t have to live with the anxiety of some dumbass hot shot lawyer being all abelist in my face and cause the jury to doubt me/question my memory.

    Tl;dr mental illness can teach you some interesting stuff and sometimes it’s actually useful.

    Anyone else experience this? What has helped you adapt?

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