i have thought about recovery every day, almost all day since last march. from the hospital to partial hospitalization to my rocky transition back to everyday life, i have wanted nothing more than to move past my mental health crisis.
when the pain was so intense and i couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, i wanted it to stop. immediately. i wanted to be rescued, saved, transported. i often felt that i couldn’t take one more hour, one more day, one more week of depression. i was truly desperate to feel better. i wished, i hoped, i prayed, i begged – i need to recover right now.
i envisioned recovery happening in a brilliant flash of self-actualization and medication. my treatments would align and suddenly i would be back to my old self again. in an almost cartoon-like way i pictured bursting back into my life and picking up where i left off.
over the past 14 months i have asked myself hundreds of times, “is this the day, is this the week when i will finally feel better? is this the therapy session, the yoga class, the conversation that will set me free?” but this outlook invited disappointment and frustration. i was still where i was.
because major depression isn’t like a cold that can be got over in a few weeks. there isn’t one pill or one conversation that makes it go away. depression is a complicated illness that demands both physical and mental healing. in my case, depression became deadly serious and changed my life entirely. my relationships, my job, my perceptions. i can’t go back to being the person i was, living the life i lived before. like it or not, here is where i am.
experience is challenging me to let go of that vision. because i am learning my truth about recovery. it is not sudden. or brilliant. recovery doesn’t happen just once. it happens every day. it requires hard work. it doesn’t take me back. it moves me slowly forward. i am living recovery, over and over and over again.
every time i get out of bed and face a new day, i am living recovery.
every time i participate in treatment, i am living recovery.
every time i reach out and talk to someone about my mental health, i am living recovery.
every time i push myself to stay active, to try something new, i am living recovery.
every time i ask for help, every time i cry, every time i say i’m scared, i am living recovery.
every time i write about my depression, i am living recovery.
every time. every day. every week. every month. i am living recovery. i am living progress. i am living healing. i am living hope. i am living recovery.