Recovery Doesn’t Happen All At Once


Note: This is a re-post from another blog that I used to run. The original post is dated March 16, 2010.

I recently posted a status on Facebook about how I was frustrated that people kept telling me that if I wasn’t happy with my life, I needed to make a change, when I already AM making a change– I have been in remission for almost a year, and now I’m taking the first step at making my life better. I was frustrated that they seemed to want me to do everything all at once- I’m doing the best that I can, and I wish they realized that. Here’s a message that one of my Facebook friends sent me and allowed me to share with all of you– I thought it might be especially helpful to show to your loved ones.

I am not an expert in anything except for my own life’s difficulties. Let me just say that recovery and reclaiming balance in our lives does not happen in a linear pattern like that of a staircase–stepping up constantly and consistently and predictably. No, rather our recovery comes in waves, some smooth and others radical–but waves no the less.

It is next to impossible for most other people (non-mental illness) to grasp the gravity and depth of our struggle, our tragedies, nor celebrate the milestones of triumphs. We are expected to just become better in the same way we flip a light switch. Of course we know that our light switches are wired slightly different–whether it be bipolar, borderline, schizophrenia, anxiety, or depression.

Because our wiring is different from others, we will live our lives under the spotlight and microscope of others who feel we are not as we should and could be, and carry the expectations that we change as soon as we discover a diagnosis and hit two therapy sessions.

Well, it doesn’t work that way for most of us. We have become who we are because of genetics and our environment which has taken now –how many decades??? While change is certainly possible and recognizably desirable, we still must work hard and long to make the changes at our own pace and in our own ways.

Unfortunately, for many, the recovery process is hindered by the very people who want to see it the most. As we become educated about the illnesses, symptoms, relapse triggers, warning signs, and crisis, it becomes our responsibility to educate our loved ones, family and friends about all these issues as well.

Be strong for yourself, be proud of and for yourself. Be well– you’re worth it.

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