selfaware soup

Esther Weidauer

The Suffering Is Mandatory

2021-01-25

Over-saturated photo of green and red vines growing on a wall.

One thing about mental health recovery that’s been keeping me up lately is this feeling that you’re not really allowed to get better. Some chronic mental health conditions never really “heal”, but maybe you learn to live with them and it can be ok.

But as soon as you’re no longer suffering, your condition becomes invisible and even invalid in the eyes of many people, your effort and hard work to live with it become invisible and support evaporates, leaving you very vulnerable for potentially relapsing into crisis.

At the same time the invisibility of your condition means that people who would need you as an example of how things can actually get better, won’t see it either. So we end up without ever knowing people who have recovered well. We only see the ones who suffer.

The suffering is mandatory.