Recovery is a very common subject in the conversation about mental health. The thing is though, everyone’s journey to recovery is different. That makes each story unique, and hopefully inspiring to others. Today in particular I have been really questioning what recovery is, and if it even exists. I’m not quite sure if you ever completely heal from mental illness – maybe instead people learn to cope and live with it.
The last couple of days have been rough for me. No reason in particular, just depression and anxiety doing its infamous thing of creeping up on me blindly. I keep thinking about the future, and there’s a voice in my head taunting me, “What future?” I can’t do much without tearing myself down. But now that I’m in recovery, there are some days that are better than others. Some days I can see my accomplishments, and others I only see my flaws. I guess recovery is really just a roller coaster, and I’ve never liked roller coasters.
I always want to find the good in a bad situation. Obviously finding the good in mental illness is next to impossible, or so I thought. The other night someone very close to me was clearly not acting like themselves. I noticed a wall go up, and that blank stare I’ve seen so many times in my own reflection. Not much was exchanged for a few hours, until we were sitting in my car and I said, “You know, I don’t know exactly how you feel but I can tell you that when I get stuck in my own head like that, I begin to become self destructive and damage every good thing around me.” Their response was simple: “You say you don’t know exactly how I feel, but you just explained what’s going on in my head.” Being able to relate to someone else is one of the most magical things. Even if it’s a horrible feeling that you’d never want anyone else to feel, it makes you realize you aren’t alone, and it can help both you and the other person. We can’t properly heal without human connections.
I was lying on my bedroom floor listening to the song “Late Nights in My Car” by the band Real Friends, and I had one of those moments where I really took in the lyrics and personalized them to apply to my own life. When I heard the words, “I’m not where I should be, I’m not what I could be. But I’m not who I was,” I came to this realization that yeah, I am not where I should be, or what I could be, yet. But no, I am not who I was. I may not be recovered, or exist in a permanent state of happiness. I still find myself sad. I still suffer from panic attacks. I still doubt myself like no other. The difference is that now that I acknowledge these things, I’m on a path to trying to understand my illness. I’m reaching out to get help, and to help others in the same situation as myself.
About Emma Holden
18, tea enthusiast, animal lover, word writer, and wants to change the stigma on mental health one blog post at a time.