I have huge difficulties saying that I’m ill because of my disorders. It’s easy to say that I’m different, weird even, or unwell. But ill is a word I just can’t say. For me, being ill is being in bed with fever and a headcold. If you’re ill you fell unwell all the time. With my mental conditions it’s not like that. There are times I don’t feel ill at all. Whole days where it seems like I’m perfectly fine. Maybe it’s stupid but I just have those brief moments in which I realize that I am actually ill. That what’s going on really counts as sick. Like:
My therapist praising me just because I decided not to work for a month.
Feeling that it’s a success not to cry when the alarm rings in the morning.
Having another success when staying in a mall for half an hour didn’t trigger a panic attack.
Colleagues fussing over me when they ought to be working.
Handing all the knives over when unable to watch out for myself.
Knowing that I don’t think the same as the people around me when there’s a self-harm or suicide scene in a movie.
Watching myself from the outside as I let beloved people feel my contempt when this rage that’s not normal anger comes over me.
Just those little moments where I can clearly see that I’m not just different but not at all whole and healthy. I always tend to think that I don’t have enough reasons to be ill. My therapist always told me to imagine that some child I don’t know tells me the exact same things that happened in my life and then wonder if I would say the same unkind things I tell myself (Spoiler: I wouldn’t). And still…I can’t tell anyone I’m ill. The word is just stuck in my throat. What a weird life.