How We Can Use Our Experiences to Create Hope
For many people, their experience with mental illness or addiction, and the ensuring recovery process, is held as a low point in their lives, which is a valid way of looking at it. These experiences can cause a person to sink, cause them to feel lower than they ever have before, and even push them to the very edge of their sanity. It can create negative, or even suicidal thoughts, and cause a person to feel that living is a burden. Even after going through recovery and regaining that sense of appreciation for life or moving past their negative thoughts, a person may hold the experience with a low regard.
We don’t believe that that needs to be the case; we believe you can use your experience to not only improve your own life, but the lives of others who may struggle with their own mental illnesses. You went through something incredibly difficult, something that some people can never experience in their life. The hardships and tribulations you overcame were of monumental size. It was the most painful thing you have ever had to face. It is easy to hold on to that pain, harbor it until it becomes a feeling of resentment. Resentment towards that part of your life, resentment towards who you were then, and resentment towards how it all affected you. We are not saying that you have to look at it and be happy for going through it, not at all. We don’t wish anyone to have to endure what you have had to endure. But we encourage you to look at it through another lens; to not let it become simply a black spot in your life.
Look at yourself now, reflect on the qualities you possess and compare them with how you were before your experience. You are not the same person you were back then; you have changed dramatically whether you know it or not. There may be some negative things that are lingering from your journey to recovery, scars from a lifestyle that wasn’t healthy, but there are also positive changes that make you better. You’ve found bravery, you have faced your innermost demons, and come out the other side. You have worked on your very core of being, and you have made the effort to make yourself better. How can anything else compare to that experience? You have endured the very definition of fear and struggle, you have suffered and prevailed. You are stronger than you ever thought was possible. What you did was incredible and it has given you a gift that is valuable and precious. You have been given the ability to live through struggle.
It doesn’t end with just you, though. You’re gift extends beyond your capabilities and your lifestyle. While you have fought for yourself and gotten through a tremendous challenge, there are still people who have not. People of all ages, genders, beliefs, and cultures, experiencing this terrifying reality that you have been through. These people are in the darkness that once suffocated you and brought you to the brink. They are looking for the answers, just as you once were, and they are feeling the desperation of not feeling better. They need a sign of hope, and you can be that for them. Speak up about your experience, speak up about what you went through. People are always looking for something to relate to, to connect with, especially in their moments of need. Start a blog, write a story, or even make a social media post; make your story heard so that not only do you get to feel heard and validated, but someone else can read it and feel like they are not alone. That they are not lost. You can be the life jacket that someone is reaching for and you can help so many people with a simple reminder that you exist.
The loneliness and isolation we feel when in the throes of mental illness is devastating, unmatched by anything. It is suffocating and crushing, it beats you down until you can’t move, and it keeps rubbing you into the dirt long after you have fallen. But here you are. You stood back up in spite of it. You pushed back and you became the one to beat it down. Just when you thought it had the better of you, when you thought it had the upper hand, you took it back. You let it know that you were in control and you weren’t going to let it dictate your life any longer. Someone is looking to do that for themselves and they need someone to tell them it’s possible. Someone who is not a doctor, who they feel is there just to tell them that. They need someone like you to find that hope. You don’t have to just be the life jacket for your own life; you can be that for everyone.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at TrueRecovery.com. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]