This is not my legacy….

While a myriad of environmental factors affect and influence mental illness, research shows a causal link between genetics and mental illness. Like many diseases, family history can be a strong predictor of an individual’s mental health. While I do not have any diagnosed mental illness in my immediate family, there is a likely possibility of undiagnosed/untreated illness in extended family. And, there might be individuals that have been diagnosed that I do not know about—how often do we find ourselves hiding from our family more than others?

Because of this link, hearing this song for the first time brought me to tears. The song reminds me I am not doomed to suffer my entire life because of this fluke in my genectic code, but also that I will not be cursing those after me (more on that fear later….)

Family Tree: Matthew West
Lyrics in Italics
Me in Normal….

You didn’t ask for this
Nobody ever would
Caught in the middle of this dysfunction

Caught in the middle, wrapped up in, created the, consumed by, defined by?

It’s your sad reality
It’s your messed up family tree

Why my genes? What about my genetic makeup led to this? Why my branch of the family tree?

And all your left with all these questions
Are you gonna be like your father was and his father was?
Do you have to carry what they’ve handed down?

Can I change? Can I learn to be different? Will I carry the dysfunction my entire life?

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you

It’s not my destiny to suffer forever; my disease is not I will be remembered for.

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be

I am meant to be more than just bipolar. I am meant to be more than burdened or held down by my disease

I can break the chains that bind you

The chains that tie me to these old habits, these old thoughts, these old ideas of who I am and what I’m worth.

I have a dream for you
It’s better than where you’ve been

Can it be worse?

It’s bigger than your imagination

Bigger than just my dream of a life where I’m not anxious everyday. Could there really be a greater plan for me?

You’re gonna find real love
And you’re gonna hold your kids
You’ll change the course of generations

I will change the lives of not just my kids, but other families who have been crippled by this disease

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you

It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday. It doesn’t matter how many times the waves have crashed over me. Just because I suffered yesterday does not mean tomorrow will not be better.

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be

I’ll leave behind me hope and encouragement for those who struggle

I can break the chains that bind you
Cause you’re my child
You’re my chosen

Chosen by Him, despite the limitations of my illness, because I am capable of change and influence…

You are loved
You are loved

By God and by my amazing family.

And I will restore
All that was broken

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” …and I will finally know what it is like to live with a healthy brain.

You are loved
You are loved

And I am worthy of their love.

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You’re bringing new life to your family tree now

Just as my mood improves moving from winter to spring, I bring hope and change to my family, future family, and even families I don’t know

Yes you are
You are

Yes I am……

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2 thoughts on “This is not my legacy….

  1. KLS says:

    made me cry and your family is blessed to have you

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