Just Give Up Already

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by Ben Huot


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One of the things that we fight to the bitter end for is our sanity and our independence. We want to be correct and in control. We measure our worth in terms of money, power, or other things that can be counted in numbers.

This is what dying to the world and taking up your cross means in the New Testament. Being born again requires dying and living the life of Christ. In America, like it has been in Europe for some time, the popular conception of being Christian is basically the same as being mentally ill.

But we do not need to fight this. We should embrace it. Failure is the beginning of success, at least in my life anyway. When I first started writing about God and faith 25 years ago, I had failed out in college and did not serve my full enlistment in the military.

The ideas that launched my writings were from philosophy courses I took in college. I embraced the freedom from trying to win the game of life. I found other motivations and other ways to succeed.

I changed my priorities. Being unimportant means being safe. Most of us are already living like royalty, as we are American citizens. When left the military, I was really careful with not taking on unneeded risks. I was willing to live a boring life, in exchange for this.

I had originally planned on being a international businessmen, leading distribution and logistics, but I hated business courses and was not good at them. I realized I had problems and at first thought I was a Goth. Later I tried doing journalism, but then I found out I was mentally ill.

At that time, going to college and studying journalism sounded like a great idea. Now it is irrelevant to me. Furthermore, writing is being automated almost entirely, by what is popularly called artificial intelligence.

The one thing that mattered is that I managed to get a honorable discharge, upon leaving the military. This meant I was eligible for veterans benefits. I attribute this to how my parents raised me. I obeyed orders instantly without hesitation and always gave 150%. Drill Sergeants in both basic and advanced training told me this directly.

One of the Drill Sergeants in advanced training gave me her coin she got, when she trained in Drill Sergeant school, which is a prestigious award. This was because I missed getting a 95% coin award in advanced training, by less than one percent.

The Drill Sergeant in basic training told me, in front of the entire platoon, that she would have promoted me, as the one person she was able to promote. The reason why she didn’t was that I was already at the rank she could promote me to, because I was an Eagle Scout.

Some of the things that helped me deal with realizing I was mentally ill were: being able to know I needed help, having a certain degree of doubt about myself, and understanding of how lucky I was to not have worse problems.

I was talking to a VA psychiatrist recently and she said people with Schizophrenia either stay at the same level of independence or get worse. They are questioning that I have Schizophrenia, because I keep improving in many ways. They don’t debate as to whether I am mentally ill or not, but that I could be Schizoaffective instead (which has some attributes of Schizophrenia and some attributes of Bipolar Disorder).

Part of the problem with this is she only sees me a very small part of the time, my mind still works very quickly, and she had not seen me before I had developed Schizophrenia. I am not the typical anything. Some also might doubt my patriotism or my faith because I approach them very differently.

I have recently gone from diabetic, to not diabetic, in 6 months. I am actually using fear to my advantage, in this case. I am excited that I have the discipline and awareness, to be able to reduce my blood sugar and lose weight. These are things I never thought I would be able to do.

So many things, although not perfect, are improving in my life. This I take great comfort in. One of the hardest things in life is knowing what things you can change and what things you cannot change.

This is simple. We can change ourselves, but not other people. Most people give up too easily today. If you can overcome this, many things can be possible, that most people would never try. The most important things for us to master are not our wealth or social status but our thoughts.