Illness is Good

I read this quotation “Illness is good, breakdown is better,” a while ago and thought it was so apt for the work I do. It sounds harsh, but periods of illness and breakdown stop us in our hectic lives and give us space. People are afraid of the word ‘breakdown’ as it conjures up latter day memories of being admitted into a mental institution. If your car breaks down, you take it to a garage and get it mended. It comes back repaired with new parts and good for another few years. And so it is with people, but they find it hard to give themselves the attention they give their car.
They don’t see crisis as an opportunity to take time out so that they can reflect upon their life so far and plan the necessary change or seek an expert who knows how to ‘mend’ them.
Crises give us such an opportunity, often forcing us out of complacency. I use a metaphor to explain to people what can happen if they don’t pay attention to the warning signs. Unhappiness creeps up on us. At first, we try to ignore it and hope it will go away. It’s like getting hit by a sledgehammer. If you don’t take any notice of the message the knock on the head has given you, then you’ll notice a JCB standing at the top of your drive ready to bulldoze your house down. If you still don’t change the way you’re living, well, it’s the atom bomb and we know what destruction that can do. It can blow your life apart! Don’t be afraid to seek help, to take time out. People who have been through major crises always look back to see that it was a huge opportunity and one they wouldn’t have missed.

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