The Brain vs. The Mind

The difference appears to be minuscule, yet the difference between the brain and the mind are macroscopic. The brain is what you were born with. Your mind is what develops and is constantly subject to change. It is your mind that you need to focus on. For so long, I have blamed my brain. I've had to accept that my brain has a dysfunction - that there are constant mis-firing signals in my brain causing my brain to lock and obsess endlessly over certain thoughts. The next instinct of my brain is to do anything in my power to calm these thoughts and make them not come to fruition - thereby introducing the compulsion. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is classified as a true medical condition - with no cure. I've been told I have to live with this constant, debilitating disorder for the rest of my life. Naturally, I was going to do anything in my power to stop my brain from the dysfunction. After years of intensive therapy, I now understand the difference between the brain and the mind - and that there is a difference for that matter. I can't control my brain from mis-firing signals, and I can't control a very real medical condition.

But I can control my mind. Once you make an effort to get in touch with how your mind works, the paths it goes down, the channels it avoids - you can learn to manipulate it. This concept is the only reason I have been able to live a somewhat normal life to date. If I were to just have accepted my mental disorder, I would still be in the same mental state I was in 2008. Once I was able to grasp that I could take control of my mind, I realized I could do anything. I obviously can't control every thought that comes into my mind, but I can control my reaction to it which has overtime trained my mind to function in the way I need it to - instead of its natural tendency which was unacceptable. This technique is more formally known as Exposure and Response Prevention - and it is the sole technique that has helped me overcome the worst of severe OCD. 

Many of my peers with mental disorders alike seem to merely accept they have a mental disorder. They go through life miserable - and bring their pity to every party. It doesn't have to be that way. I have been at the lowest of low and the highest of highs over the years since 2008 with my disorder, and never ONCE have I accepted it. There is no acceptance - there has only been a fight. I have fought every single day in 2008 to not accept my mental disorder and I don't plan on ever stopping. You just have to realize there is a very real fight waiting for you.

Symbolically, I look at the the brain as the life you've been born into and the mind as the way you choose to live it. You can't control the life you happened to be given - just as you can't control the brain you were given. You can certainly, however, control the way you take the life you've been given and manipulate it into the life you want to live, just as you can do the mind. Don't just accept the cards you've been dealt. Deal them right back - your way. Mental disorder or not.