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Embracing Your Disease


When, exactly, did our society become so obsessed with sickness?

I was just thinking of the many diseases and mental disorders we experience and talk about on a daily basis: Anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and the list goes on.

It’s like a restaurant menu: Are you ready to order? Yes, I’ll have some anxiety as an appetizer, depression as the main course and for dessert — hmm, let me see — yes, that ADD sounds quite delicious.

When I choose my sickness I go big, so I take a double portion of anxiety for all three courses. I can’t get enough of it. There’s nothing better than waking up on edge, having to figure everything out, questioning why this and why that, and getting that coffee going so I can feel even more anxiety for the rest of the day.

Yes, I’m an anxiety junkie! What’s wrong with that? Besides, anxiety is kind of hot right now. You know, you can hide it behind being high-energy, creative and a workaholic. Best of all, almost everyone around me has it too.

If you’ve read this far, I probably have your attention. My point is that we all have something big we’re dealing with. However, that something big is not your disease. Rather, somewhat in accordance with Jungian theory, it’s what’s causing your disease. There’s something festering inside of you that wants to come out and it’s trying to get your attention. The more you ignore it, the bigger the disease.

I challenge all of us to embrace our diseases. Why not? If you’re going to order something from the menu, what’s wrong with enjoying it? In fact, why not see it as a message from your inner self that it’s time to change?

Have you ever noticed that most people end up happier after they’ve been through a major illness? Lately, I’ve been exploring this possibility and have become more accepting of my own anxiety. Instead of asking why I have anxiety, I simply trust that every time I feel it, my spirit is looking out for me. The mysteries of the world are being revealed to me through my body.

Perhaps my anxiety is telling me to remember that life is beautiful and that everything is possible, to be courageous and to let go of the past. After all, do we really have any right to judge ourselves, others and the lives we choose to live? Why are we so obsessed with asking “Am I OK? Am I happy?” Maybe our obsession with happiness is going to end up making all of us miserable.

Instead, let’s take on an observer role, notice our diseases and realize that they are parts of our deep and ancient souls wanting to come out. There’s no need to explain these things or give them a reason. Rather, just celebrate them. Celebrate your unique problems, whether you and others perceive them as good or bad. They are part of you. Your disease is coming out of you for a reason. It’s your gateway to change, to a new life. If you try to stomp that disease or worry down, you will be even more miserable and other physical problems will come out.

Stop trying so hard and leave yourself alone. You’re being your biggest bully. Observe and release your fears and anxieties about money, love, what you should or shouldn’t do, feel or not feel, be or not be, do or not do. Watch yourself, celebrate yourself and celebrate this crazy mystery of life. It’s all way too big and unknown for any of us to really know what’s going on, so just let it go.

What’s really the worst that can happen? If the worst thing that can happen is death and suffering, is it really that bad? Perhaps worse than death and suffering are apathy or cloning yourself to be like everyone else. Forget that fake happy everyone is obsessed with now. Doing things so that others will like you? Forget it.

So yes, you can trust yourself. You have to give yourself room. Honor yourself, your uniqueness, your spirit, your miracle of life and the connection to everything around you. Trust that your soul is looking out for you and that it will put you in situations to keep you flowering and bearing fruit.

Embracing Your Disease

Marco Torresi

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APA Reference
Torresi, M. (2018). Embracing Your Disease. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 4 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.