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What if your mental illness becomes your comfort zone

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

We like to create comfort zones where many things are unknown and unsure. The feeling of not being in control of our environment but our thoughts and behavior make us often create little havens to hold on to and fall back to.

We can use them to feel secure, safe, loved, and connected with our usual selves.

But what if we create comfort zones that function as automatic default programs in our lives? What if those zones block us from growing, learning and healing? If we let go of our safety zone, will that open up the possibility of becoming mentally stronger?


As far as I can remember, I struggled with mental illness ( depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar II). It was all I ever knew from a very young age. Throughout the years, I built my life around my mental illness—everything from friends, work, relationships, activities, and events. But more so myself. I was utterly intertwined with my mental illness; over time, it became my comfort zone. It felt good in that self-created zone. I knew who I was when I was there. I could be myself, or at least I thought so. [ you are not your mind ] I started using my zone as a reason not to do things. Not to say something. Not to feel things. It was a lame excuse for many non-show-ups at events and uncalled behavior.

My comfort zone became an addiction. I could not perform without it. As much as I wanted to believe that my mental illness was the enemy, it became my friend weirdly. An unhealthy love-hate relationship that was toxic in every core of its existence. Deep down inside, I knew I had to let go one day. One day I had to become mentally healthy.

It sounds like I had a choice. I had. We all do. [ why do we hold on to trauma ] It is just a matter of time and the right mindset to choose that you will no longer be trapped in your mental illness, the belief that you’re stronger than the illness itself and that you can change your thoughts, actions, and feelings. The belief that you can let go of your comfort zone.

HOW TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE To step out of my comfort zone, I knew I had first to define what was keeping me there. I started to map out my comfort zone in different sections. Each section played a role in my life, and I would highlight per section how my mental illness played a part in it. Once I understood how my mental illness kept me locked into my comfort zone, I could start working on stepping out of it.

BECOMING MENTALLY HEALTHY Over time things started to change. I was working on my mental health every second of the day. Meditations, reading books, mind exercises, trigger therapy, mindfulness, changing my diet, decreasing medication, etc. It was forced because anything unfamiliar the mind, by default, doesn’t like. [you are not your mind]

Slowly but surely, I became mentally stronger in the months to come. It was a miraculous process. One that never seemed possible before.

I felt that my comfort zone was slowly fading into the background as I became mentally stronger. It did not have the same power over me anymore, and I felt like I was walking away from it.

CONCLUSION Today there are no comfort zones in my life anymore. No default behavior to fall back on. My mental illness is in the past. I could entirely focus on my mental health by leaving my comfort zone. Without the comfort zone, I could start my real life.; one without mental illness.

Please feel free to share if your mental illness is built around your comfort zone. If so, how did it start, and are you willing to let go? Let's talk about it in the comments below.

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