There I was, riding my rollercoaster along my recovery. I won’t say “happily” plodding along, but I’ll be fair – I was happier than I have been in a long while. I felt free. I felt positive. I felt strong. I felt empowered.
That ride was two weeks ago.
Now it’s 6pm on a Sunday evening and I am curled up in bed, dreading work tomorrow, ignoring social contact and wondering how the hell I ever felt so positive before. Oh, I also want to eat all my feelings in chocolate and doughnuts!
Isn’t recovery the best feeling? Knowing you’re on your way up, feeling unstoppable and looking positively to the future. When you’re feeling that good it’s difficult to remember what you were sad about and what kept you down. It’s hard to describe the “pit” you were in days before. This is what I describe as my recovery rollercoaster.
And when you’re down you don’t want to think about the good times, because it hurts that you’ve regressed so much. I’ve spent most of this weekend crying, disappointed in myself that I wasn’t strong enough to keep myself from being dragged down.
I’ve not written this post to shout “LOOK AT ME! LOOK HOW WELL I’VE RECOVERED”. Nor am I saying “HEY, LOOK HOW BAD I HAVE IT!”.
I’ve written this post to say, “Hey, I thought I was doing well and now I feel back at square one.” “Hey, I thought I was recovering, making good progress in therapy, changing my thinking habits – but it’s all come crashing down.”
Damn, mental illness is a relentless recovery rollercoaster
Now I’m a confused mess. Will I every experience recovery again? Will I be okay? How long will it take? How long more do I need to endure experiencing the darkest rollercoaster of my mind again, thinking about every mistake I’ve ever made and wondering if it should have played out differently.
A long time ago I accepted that I’ll never be “fully recovered”. Yes, I’ll get better; the dark days will get more infrequent, the smiles will come back quicker. But I’ll never 100% be free of my demons.
I need to remember that I don’t need to be fully recovered to be a full person. Mental illness gives me many strengths. I am determined, resourceful, kind hearted, a good listener and I want to make change happen. Mental illness and my experiences are an integral part of who I am and what I contribute to this big ol’ world of rollercoaster activities.
So, I’ll get up tomorrow. I’ll go to work. I’ll put my best face on, and I’ll get through this recovery even though my heart is heavy.
And I just have to hope that this dip in my rollercoaster doesn’t go as far down, or for as long, as previously.
Original Article by: Amber @mindshare2017