Sunday, 22 January 2017

12 reasons to choose recovery

Recovery is a journey that we all have to take at various points in our lives. Recovery from a drunken night out, from an injury or from mental illness, just to name a few. However, recovery from mental illness is more about learning to live with the thoughts and feelings but not letting them take hold of your life rather than being cured from them. 
Recovery is not linear, instead it looks more like a squiggly line drawn by a 3 year old. It is full of ups and downs and sharp turns in unexpected directions. It is a long process but is 100% worth all the hard work that goes in. Sometimes I found that I questioned the point in recovery so I thought that in this post I would list 12 reasons why recovery is worth it. 


 It doesn't hurt to smile. Fake smiling used to hurt my cheeks so much but now that my smile is genuine my cheek muscles are very thankful for it.


 There is a sense of freedom that comes with recovery. There is no need to hide. You are your true self, demons and all and the people that are still stood by your side are the ones who matter, for they love you despite your illness. 


Having the power and the knowledge to distinguish that your thoughts are not you. I have always felt with my anxiety that it is like having 2 different people live inside of me. I am actually rather confident and sure of myself yet anxiety is the opposite of that. Anxiety is scared and doubtful and critical of everything I do and say. However, as time goes on and my recovery keeps going I am learning that those negative, fearful, critical thoughts are not my own but anxiety's and I do not need to listen to them.   


Accepting the bad days but not dwelling on them. You can't avoid the bad days, it's just life to have a mixture of both good and bad. In fact those bad days help us to appreciate the good days.


 Enjoying the little moments. Life is full of little moments of complete and utter blissfulness. For me they are as simple as watching the sun setting or gazing at the stars. Find what brings you moments of happiness and make the time for them. 


 To be able to honestly answer "I am good" to the question "how are you?". Its draining in itself to constantly lie about how you are and so arriving to a point where you can say that you are good and mean it is wonderful. Of course you won't feel good everyday, some days you may feel okay and others you may feel dreadful but being honest about how you are feeling on a given day is truly liberating. 


To start living. Mental illness robs us of so much from our lives. Through recovery you will begin to live life as you leave the comfort zone that your mental illness has created. I can promise you there are so many wonderful things waiting for you outside that zone. 


To use your own story to change other peoples lives. You can be living proof that it really does get better. Nothing is more powerful than someones story and it can make such a difference to other people who are going through similar situations. Use your negative experiences and turn them into something empowering and positive. 


Recover for those who lost the fight. Unfortunately these illnesses do take lives, show the world that your mental illness will not be taking you. 


To be more than a victim, to be a survivor. Thrive past the boundaries of your mental illness, crush the stigmas you face and stand with your head held high. 


You are not only fighting this for you but for all of the people around you who love you. Mental illness can be extremely difficult for our loved ones especially as it can be hard for them to understand or know how to support us. You should for sure recover for yourself but on the days where you want to abandon recovery and fall back into those unhealthy habits remember that you are also recovering for them. 


Most importantly, finding yourself. Going through a period of ill mental health or living daily with a mental illness changes you, but through recovery you will find a new sense of self. You may find new passions, new friends, new goals in life. Embrace them all. 

Of course when talking about recovery we have to in turn talk about relapse because it is a normal part of recovery. Relapse for you may be having a day where you don't quite practice self care the way you should, relapse may be spending an entire day in bed feeling like you are right back to square one and wondering what's the point? Relapse may be engaging in an unhealthy behaviour or coping mechanism. 
Relapse does not mean you have given up on recovery it is simply a blip, a bump on the road but it doesn't mean that the road stops there. 

Recovery is a working progress but the final destination is ahead.  I wish everyone who is currently in recovery the strength to keep going and for those of you who can't quite muster up the force for recovery I wish you hope, for a day where you will feel hopeful enough to be able to see a day where being your recovered self will be possible.


  1. This post is incredible! So heart warming and inspiring. I agree with every single one of your points. xx

  2. This post is exactly what I needed to read today! I had a bad day yesterday and I've been so scared of having another one today. I especially love how you describe relapsing, that it's just a bump in the road, not the end of it.
    Also, I completely understand what you mean about having 2 people living inside your head. I find that it helps me to have a name for the other person. His name is Ruin, because he lies, cheats and actively tries to ruin everything.
    Thank you for this wonderful post!

  3. I am glad that you found this post helpful and was able to relate to it. I hope that you are feeling a little better today.

  4. Excellent post