Whether it is a substance use disorder, a personality disorder, a psychiatric disorder, or an eating disorder, this “other” part of ourselves can start to feel like its own person. There are, of course, mental health disorders in which one does have multiple friends or personalities living within their minds. For most, however, their disorders take on their own kind of personality. Our depression can feel like the friend that never leaves. Our anxiety can feel like the friend who never shuts up. Our eating disorders can feel like our greatest, yet most sadistic, coach, telling us we can achieve something if we put our minds to it. Our substance abuse disorders can tell us we aren’t alone and that we’ll never be disappointed. Any of our disorders might end up telling us, they’re the only friend we need.
When we choose to get sober or seek treatment for mental health, there is a peculiar feeling of guilt. We might feel as though we are abandoning someone who has been there for us for so long. Long ago we stopped separating our disorders from ourselves. At once, we need to embrace our disorders as part of us, yet at the same time we need to separate. We might not have known what our diagnosis was or how to tell what was the “real” us from our symptoms.
You are not your disorder. By taking the measures to seek treatment and help, you are already recognizing that you see the potential for more or for different in your life. Symptoms are only symptoms, they are not traits of character, and they are certainly not incriminations. Through treatment you will learn to understand, assess, and manage your symptoms as they come.
Letting Go With Gratitude
There’s a chance we’re angry with our disorder, or angry with ourselves for having one. For years, we’ve suffered, and felt unable to get on the other side. Anger is a natural phase of the grieving process. Yes, sometimes approaching our disorders and learning to work through them feels like grief. We’ll experience sadness and we’ll try to negotiate a way to keep some of it. Ultimately, we will find gratitude for our experience. It brought us to this point, has taught us a lot, and above all else, showed us what we were capable of living with.
Avalon By The Sea is certified to treat both substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders as primary diagnosis. That means we offer an unparalleled clinical approach to mental health, while incorporating a holistic treatment plan for healing mind, body, and spirit. For more information on our treatment programs, call 1 (888) 958-7511 today