When your illness and wellness agree

Usually it goes something like this: you’re scared of doing something which isn’t a big deal to most people but you have to because SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO BE AN ADULT. Your illness keeps telling you that you will fail or that something terrible will happen (this is my general approach to life) but your wellness and the many therapy sessions under your belt cautiously interject and you end up being inside of the situation instead of avoiding it. Your wellness wins.

Then there are the times where you cannot possibly ignore your illness and no amount of positive self-talk is going to make you get out of bed, answer the phone, go to an appointment etc. You’re still scared and even though you have managed to get yourself out of whatever you have to do, there isn’t much relief. I guess illness wins in this case because it keeps you trapped and your therapists have told you over and over that the more you avoid things, the harder they will become. Thinking about how you might have let yourself down makes you feel guilty and weak, which your illness finds very attractive.

It’s difficult to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy thinking. You know this. All of that DBT, schema and various other types of therapy have assured you of the chaos of the mind. What happens then when your illness and wellness are concurrently right? I don’t mean when there is some sort of wise-mind resolution because god knows you’re too complicated for that.

“I am only wanted when I can be of use.”

There are the facts, the proven examples and the solid proof that this is true. You have that one friend whom you would do anything for but you’re sick of ONLY doing things for her. You just want to hang out, smile at the past, laugh at the present (because it is so tragic, right?), worry about the future and of course bitch about the world. Your illness reinforces the original thought (and it is a thought, not a distortion or a schema) and your wellness tries its hardest to challenge it before stepping back, taking a breath and seeing the truth in it.

It isn’t a harmonious union. It will pull you in different directions and make you feel smothered by both sides. “I am only wanted when I can be of use.” Your wellness tells you that this it is good that you’re of use. Your illness will tell you that you have nothing interesting to contribute to the friendship and that your friend keeps you around because you’re easily persuaded. Your wellness will tell you that you’re smart to realise when you’re being taken advantage of and that it is good to be aware of what is going on. Go team you! Your illness will keep kicking you when you’re down and you will want to drill it out of your head but that is the illness talking (surprise). They’ll fight for you but in this rare moment they will agree and you wont know what to do next.

You’re so used to listening to one or the other.


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