What does that mean?
What does it mean to you?
The definition of recovery is "a return to a normal state of health,mind or strength."
To me – recovery means,improving,getting better,getting rid of all the bad thoughts and the problematic habits that I have and being happy.
I have suffered with mental health issues,more specifically depression and anxiety,for around 4/5 years. Ever since I was a young teenager. I do not know what caused it, I imagine its a number of things from my surroundings,the perception I have of myself and unfortunately a chemical imbalance in my brain. I suffered in silence for many years,I knew there was help available,but I was always afraid due to anxiety driven thoughts telling me that its all in my head and the doctor would laugh at me or not understand what I was saying. This year since I met my girlfriend she encouraged me to seek help for my mental health and she held my hand during every single doctors appointment! I'm not going to go too much into this because this post is not about that so to cut a long story short,I got put on medication,the doctor was lovely and it is so worth it! It was a long time coming and I cried as soon as I walked into the doctors office. Help is there and even though it is terrifying in the long run it is so worth it. Its the first step of getting better.
This time 5 years ago if you told me I would be happy I would believe you,I was young and I thought i was just sad. Recovery wasn't a term I had even acknowledged as I didn't know to what extent this "sadness" was.
This time six months ago if you asked me if I thought recovery was possible and there was a chance I could be happy,I would of shut you down immediately or laughed in your face. After five long years of feeling this way,I thought this was just who I am. A part of me that would always be here. I had lost all hope pretty much. I was so adamant that I was right and everyone around me who said I will get better was wrong. I mean yes,Now I still have bad days and I am sure I will have many bad days in the future,Like everyone else in the world,it is normal to be in a bad mood. Not every single day will be sunshine and rainbows but there will be lots of that too! The main difference is,that on the bad days,the sadness isn't as intense or as painful and crippling as it is now. I use to feel numb and not want to get out of bed and I would go through phases of crying to feeling nothing at all,the feeling that I felt I can't even describe anymore because I haven't felt it in so long! Every single day is different. I am not going to lie and say I don't get any bad thoughts anymore e.g. telling me I shouldn't be here and I am not worth anything but they are rare and not as frequent or intense. I can't say that there isn't a chance of relapsing or falling back into bad habits because I already have but its a fight I was always have to battle against.
Over the past couple of months of me being on my medication and practicing self care techniques. I can honestly say it is working and even on the days it feels like I have gone backwards and no progress has been made,I have days like today when I remember and realise that I am getting better,I am on my journey of recovery (a life long journey) and I am winning. I genuinely feel so so happy and content right now,my heart feels full. I am living the life I have always dreamed of and wanted. I have an incredible girlfriend,a job I love so much,I travel and do things I have always wanted,I am healthy and I am surrounded by people who make my life so much better and I really appreciate every little bit of it.
I can proudly say that I am beating my mental illness and It will always be a part of me but a part of me that I can control instead of it controlling me.