When we think of recovery, we think of recovery for alcoholics and drug addicts. But in the last 20 years, recovery has also been used for people with mental health challenges.
What does recovery look like to you? For me, it is living and getting on with your life after a diagnosis. It is doing your best and moving forward on your journey.
What is your definition of recovery? Please answer in the comment section below. To recover, you need to know your own personal definition and goals to get on with your life. A diagnosis does not have to steal your life away, so do not let it.
It is important to list your values. What are your top 5 to 10 values? What is important to you? Are you living your values with your dreams and goals? If not, list or relist your goals.
I have had anxiety since a young child and depression since junior high, but I was not treated until my mid 30’s.
My challenges have affected my career success, causing a chronic use of sick days. I’ve been on meds for 21 years, and it’s been over 6 years since I have been hospitalized.
Recovery to me is living my life my way, using self help techniques like CBT, ACT, and journaling to balance my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas in my life.
Some people believe you can’t recovery from a mental disorder. I think they say that because their definition is different than mine.
Recovery does not mean a cure for mental illness or for all your symptoms to go away with medicine and therapy. Recovery is struggle and acceptance, moving on with your life.You will have lapses and relapses, so prepare for them, then climb back on board, and get on with your recovery!
Like everyone, we will have both good and bad days. We choose life and continue on our journey.
Some of us return to work, or go to work for the first time in our lives. Others go back to school to earn a GED or degree. The possibilities are endless. You can join places like a clubhouse for people with a chronic serious mental health challenge. There are also places in Massachusetts called Recovery Learning communities. Check out places in your own community. There are 12 step support groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous, Depression Anonymous, and Emotional Anonymous.
Helpful Tips for a Mental Health Journey
- Get a journal to write down your worries, fears, and emotions in
- Look for local peer and club house programs
- Join a 12-step program
- Find CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) or ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) books
- Read “Pathways to Recovery” by Priscilla Ridgeway and others