The Hurdles of Recovery

I love the recovery movement in mental health.  I am truly inspired by the many stories I hear about people reclaiming and redefining their lives.  I celebrate those who live with a mental illness and who are able to live, laugh and love.

But…there are so many hurdles to recovery and there just aren’t a lot of maps to show us how to get there.  And in my experience professionals may tell you that you can recover but they don’t tell you how hard it is going to be.

So what are some of the hurdles I have experienced?  My first inclination is to say everything!  But What I really mean by that is every aspect of my life was affected when my illness became debilitating.  It seems intuitive now to say, “of course all of your life would be affected.”  The thing is when you’re trying to rebuild and recover you start looking very closely at all the pieces in your life.  The good news is it makes you very aware when you explore each aspect of your life.  And the nice thing is when you are starting over you get to rebuild your life the way you want it.

This is not easy for people who don’t have a mental illness.  So herein lies a huge hurdle…recognizing even with a mental illness we are still human and we get to have all those challenges that simply come from being human.  Notice I did not say “normal,” just human.

My own personal hurdles are too numerous to put down in one short blog.  But I will say the one I found the most difficult to overcome has been a loss of self-confidence and self-esteem.  I have worked very hard to try and regain that but I am not gonna lie it is very hard.  Not impossible just difficult.

If you are on the recovery road I just want to acknowledge it is tough, but I also want to say it is so worth the effort.  And remember recovery is a lifelong journey.  Sometimes I take three steps forward and two steps back.  But I keep trying everyday and for the first time in a long time I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize the hurdles are getting a little bit smaller.