Opening up is important in the treatment of mental illness
Opening up is important in the treatment of mental illness

I am currently in the process of healing my mental illness. I have had therapy for over four years, but only now I have the feeling that it’s really working. Why now? Because I have opened myself up. My inner voice told me that suffering is finally over. It is time to tackle the problem at its roots. The roots of my mental illness cannot be cannot and will not change by only ‘chatting’ about it on a weekly basis with my therapist. Complaining doesn’t make me feel better. I found out what it takes to get better though. I call it the way to healing.

Opening up

It is essential that you open up. You have to get to a point where you find out that you have to confront that place inside you where you have stored your painful memories. You do this by opening yourself up to all the toxicity that comes with it, allowing and trusting that you can handle this. You have to take the time and feel all of the emotions and the pain. Preferably don’t do this in your own room. What if it gets too much and you lose yourself? Your therapist can help you stay focused. Or otherwise a good friend who knows you well can help you with handling the emotions.


During the recovery process there comes a point where you realise where the pain exactly comes from. You realise what it’s all about. It will hit you extra hard and it can bring all the bad memories and emotions back. Believe me when I say that it’s no fun. But what I have learned in the past few months is that emotions have a rise and a fall. This means that you won’t be walking around with that grief forever. When the tears and the pain are released, the sadness and the painful emotions will slowly fade.

After the realisation

Then comes enlightenment. You can breathe again and you feel free. Free from all weight. At least that’s how I imagine it. I have not yet reached this stage myself, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. It will be okay I hope. I hope I can enjoy life again in a while and no longer have to walk around with 1000 kg of heavy luggage on my back. The luggage will only be part of my memories. A drawer in my head in the ‘archive section’.

Where I am now

I am at the stage of realisation. I realise that things have happened in my life that were too much for me to handle as a child. Adult things, something that a child does not yet realise. Awareness and realisation hurts. It hurts a lot. But because of it I understand that it was not my fault back then, and that I was powerless. It is also a kind of liberation. I feel liberated from all the bad thoughts I had about myself. And so I continue. I will continue until I can say I am fully healed.



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By telling others about my own experiences, I hope to support people that deal with mental disorders in their own process. I find it important that mental illnesses are recognised as real diseases, even though they might not be visible to the eye.

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