The lifeblood of American culture is none other than victory. The idea that we must win at everything we do, whether that's having the best partner, the smartest kid, or being the best neighbor permeates our social structure to its core. It isn't that this way of thinking is necessarily good or bad, rather it just is. It's something that we're born into, learn, and has become part of us.
The pressure we feel from this way of thinking can, however, affect how we perceive our environment. It turns our communities into spaces of hyper-competition, with no room for error.
Even though this value system has propelled our economy to the forefront of the world's stage, it creates winners and losers. In other words it places a divide between us, greatly impacting our ability to forgive and accept what is.
Luckily, it's entirely our choice to participate in the game or not.
When talking about depression, anxiety, or anger management; it gets a little sticky. Is it possible to 'win' away any of these conditions? Is it something you have to fight? Are you choosing to improve out of self hate, or self love?
I don't know for certain, but I do know that perpetuating the idea of weakness when we ask for help only aggravates emotional disorders. By telling ourselves mental illness is something to overcome, we turn it into an enemy. In actuality what we're experiencing may just provide us an opportunity to evolve our thinking. That is of course if we can get out of our own way.
Qualifying how we feel in terms of winning and losing will only create barriers between you and the available resources. In other words you're not weak if you're experiencing emotional hurdles, you're just human.
If you, or someone you love, are experiencing the symptoms of toxic thought patterns, just remember there are no winners or losers. There is no right and wrong way of handling it.
All you can do is encourage and remind those you love that asking for help doesn't make you weak.