You might like to view your life in a linear fashion. You picture every process and journey as a series of steps, milestones, and accomplishments you can work towards that will get you further and further along the path to success. When you face a new challenge that you have to work on, you may begin to visualize every little step you need to take in order to overcome that challenge. It’s just how your brain processes these kinds of things and how you approach obstacles. You might believe that there is an end of the line, a light at the end of the tunnel. Once you reach that place, you think you will be in the clear. It is done, it is over, and you won’t have to deal with it ever again. But that isn’t how things work in life, especially when it comes to recovery. Recovery is not a destination, it’s a journey.
Manage Mental Illness, Not Eliminate It
There is no finish line and there is no point that you can work towards where you can rid yourself entirely of the effects of mental illness. Living with that fact is difficult and it can be upsetting to think about never being able to get past this whole thing. Mental illness is a dark place for many who have had to deal with it; it is something that you have never faced before.
Then you go through recovery and treatment, only to find that your work isn’t done yet, and might never be done. This fact can make dealing with mental illness even harder, and it can be disheartening to hear that you can’t actually move all the way past it. But that doesn’t mean you have to be beaten down or let your life be dictated by mental illness. In fact, you can learn to use that feeling to make yourself stronger and more able to tackle problems as they come along.
The Early Stages
When you are going through your initial struggles with mental illness, things can feel very dark. Many new things are going on in your body and mind, and you can’t make any sense of what’s happening. It can uproot your whole life, emotions, and ability to function in your daily activities. You may yearn so deeply to get back to your perceived normalcy, back to where you were before it all happened, that when you hear that there isn’t a point where you will be rid of it, it’s a hard pill to swallow.
This does not mean there won’t be relief and a new kind of normal. While mental illness may linger and stay with you, they do not mean that normalcy isn’t possible. It may not be the normalcy that you experienced before, but you can redefine and recreate your own new sense of normalcy. Redefining your normal is a huge part of stepping out into the world after recovery. It doesn’t have to change because you can’t completely rid ourselves of our illness.
Shifting the Perspective
You can change the way you view your mental illness and its effects on your life. Instead of looking at it as something that is dragging you down, it can be something that you can use to push yourself further. It doesn’t have to be dissuasion, it can be motivation. When you leave a recovery program, you have all the momentum you need to continue to improve and succeed. You are in a much better place than you were when you first encountered your condition.
Take your experiences and newly learned tools into account and keep climbing, keep moving forward, and keep growing as a person. Your life does not have to be ruined by what you are going through, it can be improved and changed into something even better. Think of what you have overcome, what you have beaten, and what more you can change or improve given the time and effort. Always keep yourself looking up, and while there may not be an end goal that you can work towards, there are plenty of smaller things you can work on, and those are just as important.
Living with a mental illness is not always easy, it takes patience and persistence. Certainly, some times will be harder than others, but these emotions and circumstances don’t have to derail your progress–you don’t have to let yourself be beaten by that lack of a light at the end of the tunnel. You also don’t have to feel defeated for not having an end goal signifying a finish to all of this. This is a journey that builds one day at a time.
Always work towards being a better version of yourself and improving every single day. That’s the beautiful thing about recovery: it can teach you new ways of looking at life and living it. It doesn’t have to be your shackles. It can be the key to freeing you into a whole new way of living–and that is an incredible thing. Finding help for mental illness or substance abuse is the first step towards overcoming your life-consuming issues. In fact, it’s very rare for a person to successfully heal from mental illness without the help of others. Fortunately, that’s what we at True Recovery are all about. In addition to experienced staff members and licensed therapists, you’ll become part of a recovery family. Support will be essential when it feels like you can’t possibly go on. You may hit several phases in your recovery where you feel utterly defeated. Allow the team at True Recovery to lift you up and motivate you to keep going. Contact us at (866) 399-6528.