If there’s anything that being in recovery from a mental illness has taught me, it’s that recovery (probably of any sort) is not a linear process.
I feel like the world of popular culture (films, tv and books) kind of oversimplify the process. Of course it would make for pretty monotonous viewing if we were faced with the ups and downs of the process, but to be shown that people get sick… find something to help and get better… kind of leaves us to expect it to be easier than perhaps it might be. The other important thing I begrudgingly note, is that actually, the blips and dips are the struggles that enable us to recover! If recovery were to be the picture perfect ideal we perhaps would prefer it to be, we wouldn’t develop the skills, strength and resilience to get better!
I guess the issue is, it’s all good and well trying to hold on to the fact that the dips in recovery are beneficial… but it can be hard to remember that when it feels like you’re not making progress or for the ten steps forward you make, you take a few back. But finding ways to remember you’re still making progress, even if it doesn’t feel completely linear, is so important.
Some of the ways I’ve tried to keep motivated is by thinking about the longer term achievements I’ve made and the big things I’ve done as well as looking at my overall progress. Where it can sometimes be hard to compare yourself to where you were a year ago, I’ve found it to be really motivating and helpful. I’ve also broken down some of my bigger goals into the smaller bite sized achievements that are ultimately getting me towards the bigger goal. Last but not least, talking about the ups and downs has also been really helpful. Having a compassionate awareness that this process is not linear has really helped me to keep my eye on the prize.
I’m attempting to blog every day this month for NaBloPoMo… follow me for daily ramblings throughout November…