guest poster Saturday: darling Dani
I’ve never really been good at putting off decisions, major or otherwise. I don’t like that nagging feeling in the back of my head, getting louder and louder, so I make active decisions as early as possible. Sometimes that pays off, sometimes, obviously, it doesn’t. Alternatively, if I DON’T make a decision right away, I put it off as long as possible, or even longer. I liken it to ripping off a band-aid. Some choose to do it quickly and get it over with, others wait until it naturally falls off in the shower. Instead of fitting somewhere in the middle, I occupy both extremes at all times, usually using context to help.
So how does this figure into the decision to get well or not? I’m not talking about the choice to enter treatment (be it in-patient our out). Yes, that can be a major, and challenging, decision in itself. But you don’t need to choose to get well before you choose to seek treatment. That decision can be made either quickly or put off a long while. Which makes it difficult to use context when making such a decision. Do I want to plunge into being well, and strive to be healthy all the time forever from now on? Or do I put the decision off until it is decided by default through my life? Do I fully commit to recovery, or do I continue to put it off until I either do irreparable damage to my body and myself or am at the precipice right before that happens, thus having a decision made for me? Does any of that make any sense? I’m stuck in that awkward place where I haven’t fully compelled myself to be well, but also haven’t fully committed to being sick.
What’s my point here? I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Seeing people going in and out of treatment centres, it used to make me angry. I used to think they were just looking for attention, or didn’t want to grow up, or both. But then I became one of those people, and I understood, it’s the process of making the decision. Some can enter treatment once, get well, and never look back. Most cannot. So the real question, then, is why don’t more health care professionals realise this? Being somewhat hesitant when entering treatment should be seen not as antagonistic, aggressive, or argumentative. Instead, it should be considered as part of treatment, the part where an individual s-l-o-w-l-y learns to claim their recovery for themselves, something which I believe is inherently necessary for recovery to be obtained.
So here I have used a lot of words to say that it’s a muddy, muddy process when you consider recovery and all that it means in your life. I’m saying it more for myself than anyone, though there are probably many who will understand. There is not any one thing that will make you well or make you decide you want to be well, which I find incredibly frustrating.
Where does that leave a person?