Is recovery ever permanent?

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I haven’t written since August 13th – which pretty much means nothing has pissed me off since August 13th. Nothing has niggled away at me or been burning to be said and heard since August 13th. 

Sounds good.

Maybe things are all good now?

No. 

I have had the mental health week from hell.

Now – that does not mean that mental health is there to ruin your life forever. That does not mean that bad times are always going to follow the good and so life is just one big awful hopeless mess. It does not mean that I’m back to square one – or that we all go back to square one, the second a tear escapes us.

No.

This means I got comfortable in being ‘okay’ and I forgot to look after myself.

Recovery, for me, is a very strange concept.

Recovery is defined as;

a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

Now, I understand this in terms of getting over the flu, or a scab healing (if you can refrain from picking away at it) but the word ‘recovery’ to me sounds like a permanent state.

Poorly – Recovery – Good to go

Once we recover from a cold and shout with delight that we can breathe through our nose again – we typically stay healthy. Of course colds come and go, but unless you are actively walking into people’s sneezes – it’s probably safe to say that your recovery is as permanent as anything can be. We don’t have to think about not getting sick. It’s just our normal state.

Mental health does not offer this same luxury.

Well – maybe it does – and I am just naff at continually using every single CBT strategy thrown my way. But I am only human. I have come a long way. I have learnt a lot. I have healed. I have breathed. I have meditated. I have questioned my thinking. I have tried with 110% effort to work on supporting myself and becoming a healthier version of myself – but it isn’t easy.

I got better. I finished my therapy. I went about my life. I started a new chapter. Yes – with more stability. Yes – with a healthier outlook on like. But I’m not fully ‘recovered’.

It’s not that I’m complacent. It’s just that I’m 25, with a job, and a university course to complete, and a family, and a house to run. I’m doing my damn best.

I always like to remind my friends that monks dedicate their whole lives to find enlightenment – and it’s a life long journey. Why are we expecting ourselves to nail it in between clocking off and sorting the food shop?

Recovery isn’t linear.

Recovery isn’t permanent.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to just get better and be cool.

I’m like kind of recovered – and I’m okay with that.

I’m fucking proud of that.

You should be too.

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