Does Having A Mental Illness Make You Weak?

June 2, 2015 Hannah Crowley

Time after time I told myself I was going to change. Today was the day. All I had to do was make different choices. Choose to be normal. Choose to fit in. Choose to be strong. It was as simple and easy as making the right choice. But I couldn’t do it. Did having a mental illness make me weak?

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”

I Isolated Myself From Recovery

Employing the “all or nothing” principle was the only way I knew how to live. Even one mistake on my road to perfection was one mistake too many. Every time I slipped up, I gave up. And every time I gave up I became more and more convinced of my own weakness. For a time, I lived in complete and solitary self-hatred -- surrounded by darkness, vomit, pity and emptiness. My only strength existed in my ability to keep everyone else shut out. Nobody deserved to feel my pain -- surely I could spare them that?

Was I Weak for Isolating Myself with a Mental Illness?

It took a long time for me to realise that rejecting help was the worst choice I still had the power to make. I was so convinced I was worth nothing, that I couldn’t believe anybody would want to take on my burdens. My time was over. I had failed.

I have been on death’s door more times than I can count. Low on weight, potassium, and self-worth, but despite that, the age-old idiom still applied: “Where there is life, there is hope.”

I didn’t have the capacity to wish myself well. Logic had little influence over my actions. But I had the ability to accept help and take the steps required to begin my long and painful journey towards recovery.

Our Mental Illness Weaknesses Make Us Strong

Mental illness brings with it a plethora of insecurities, a whole host of questions, and a blurring of the lines. Recovery is more than just changing your actions; it’s more than a two-dimensional, dichotomous yes-or-no equation. It goes beyond the simplicity of choice.
Recovery is a fight. It’s turning weaknesses into strengths, learning to accept mistakes, and rejoice in the little victories. There’s a fine line between love and hate, and we can all cross it. We can all love ourselves. Because to be loved is exactly what we deserve.

You can find Hannah on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

APA Reference
Crowley, H. (2015, June 2). Does Having A Mental Illness Make You Weak?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Hannah Crowley

Leave a reply