MHM Recovery 7: Illness As A Comfort Zone

Talking today about how it is your MH problem can become your comfort zone, making it hard for you to move beyond it into wellness and the larger world even as you recover.

When you’re ill and can become anxious even about familiar places, you might end up stuck in a very small environment with yourself and your thoughts. That becomes a familiar and safe place to be, whilst everything else looks unsafe and alien. Of course there is nothing pleasant or comforting about illness, but your internal logic is skewed and only recognises the safety, not the danger, and the danger of being trapped inside your illness is a very real one.

Moving away from that safe place gets no easier in recovery, the outside is still as frightening, you have a lot of damage to your self esteem etc and you feel ill equipped to take on the outside world with so few coping skills and general skills. It can be very intimidating. However, your internal logic does start to recalibrate and you begin to understand how much more dangerous staying stuck in your illness is, and so there is a battle between the familiar and what used to be safe and your new desire to strike back out into the world couple with the objective understanding of the dangers your illness presents.

It’s a tough time. But if I can do it, I believe others can too.

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