Discovery not recovery

I’ve wanted to write this post for a very long time, but I’ve never been sure how to do it. I have finally decided to keep it short and sweet. I hope you agree…

Living with an invisible illness, especially of the mental kind, encourages you to focus on everything that you are not, but I urge you to banish those thoughts from your mind and realise that which you are.

You are not your illness. Illness does not define you. Yes it is a part of you, there is no denying that, but there is so much more – there is no denying that either!

The long and winding path that we are walking down is not the same path from which we came. You can’t get better by doing everything that made you ill in reverse. Rather, it is a continuation of that same path, perhaps with a slight diversion. Your destination is not a place you’ve been before, instead it is somewhere new.

This is not a recovery back to your old life and it’s habits; it is a discovery of how to live it with what you now know.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. You’re right Matt! It’s tough not to form an identity around the illness. It can be so all-consuming for a time that it feels like who you are. But once the storm passes, what’s left? There comes a point when it’s time to move on. Mental illness is always a part of my life simply because I take active steps to avoid slipping back into it, but I try to remember it’s not who I am. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. And I think it might come and go in cycles too…when there are times that I’m not feeling well, it’s harder to remember it’s not my identity. But it can also be hard when we’re well not to define ourselves by the past.

      1. M_McKeen says:

        It’s true, the past with all its successes and mistakes make us who we are today, we need to be grateful for the way things have panned out sometimes

    2. M_McKeen says:

      You’re welcome Jenna, thanks for yet another lovely comment! I’m guilty of it too sometimes, but I know that you’re right!

  2. Gemma says:

    It took me a long time to realise that I am not my mental illnesses. Really good post as always Matt! x

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you so much Gemma. Even after we’ve realised it can still be tough to remember that… I know at my lowest I’m too harsh on myself, and I forget what we have to go through on a daily basis :/ x

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