Recovery for me has been rather difficult for me. One, I am juggling work and school and two, my family has been hard me for why I haven’t been recovering “fast” enough. I am kinda frustrated because my recovery is more for me, than for them. I mean I feel like I shouldn’t be working and going to school and work. I haven’t been giving as much as attention to my recovery as I would like to. It’s like you spraining your ankle in a soccer match and yet you are still playing the game, even if you iced and took Advil. And throughout the match you are still in pain. Your healing becomes further delayed. Anyways, my family are always on me like, “Why are you so anxious?” And I tell’em it’s because of the school, hoping I’d make into my credential program, just typical life situations. I don’t think I’m anxious due to my medication or my anxiety. I am anxious, because I am looking forward to my dreams, my future, and being centered in myself… I am so excited! Then….maybe even if I am anxious because say for instance,I am afraid of failing my classes, those feelings are normal. That was what I’ve learned in therapy, that these feeling of anxiety whether they be good or bad are normal, that I should accept them and know how to deal with them.
For once, I am doing something for myself. And I owe it to my former younger self to seek help and overcome my mental illnesses.
Don’t get me wrong…I love my family and I know my family loves me and has good intentions. However, this is my personal journey….
What Is Recovery Anyway?
So what do you think recovery is? What do you think it should be? What do you think it should accomplish? How long should it last? Well before we answer those questions let’s know what recovery is.
According to dictionary.com, the term “recovery” has 12 meanings, but let me just take the 4 that actually relate with mental health recovery:
- An act of recovering.
- The regaining something lost or taken away.
- Restoration or return to health from sickness.
- Time required for recovering.
Now, according to the MHR.com, the term “mental health recovery” is:
“A deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills, and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying hopeful, and contributing life even when limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophe effects of mental illness.”
However even within the term, “mental health recovery”, there are two categories of it: personal recovery and clinical recovery.
An idea that has emerged from the expertise of mental health professionals, and involves getting rid of symptoms, restoring social functioning, and in other ways ‘getting back to normal.’
…A deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills, and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even within the limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness.
Personal recovery is more of what I am working on. Since I was a child, I knew something was wrong with me. I had to be on top of it. I saw it was affecting me emotionally, mentally, socially, and academically. It has been 22 years in the making. So my goal has been to better manage my anxiety and depression. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Plus, I think it’s just more attainable and doable, than making them “go away.” By sticking to this goal, it has instilled—as the definition of personal recovery mentions— hope, new meaning, and purpose in my life. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a bit nerve wrecking seeking this new life within me. But all I can do is trust myself and know that deep down I know what I’m doing. And my family expects me to have undergone–to what little they know is called—“clinical recovery”.
Though now I think about it… I can see why. See, according to the article, “Moving Beyond Clinical Recovery AND Personal Recovery: Reclaiming the Possibility of Full Recovery” from the “Recovery from “Schizophrenia” and other “Psychotic Disorders website, mental health services to at first try to meet the objectives of clinical recovery, but then eventually move on to personal recovery. And during most of my therapy sessions, I underwent various treatments such as “play therapy”,
“exposure therapy” and “complementary therapy”, but eventually my therapist focused on what I wanted to achieve—which really was the first thing he asked me in my very first session. My helping me figure out what my goal(s) was made it easier to help me overcome the “treacherous trials” of what is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
I don’t expect my mental illnesses to go away right on its, but I just wanna have better control of it. Yeah, I do show some of the symptoms
General Anxiety Disorder
- Trouble sleeping
- Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event (esp. with school and work)
- Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on the edge.
- Trouble sleeping
- Anger or irritability (Still working on it)
- Loss of energy (the medication I’m using prevents me from losing too much energy
But I’m getting better at overcoming them, especially more effective means to deal with them. And exciting! I’ve also learned that not all anxiety is bad, some could be good, like being excited that most of my hardwork has paid off to getting into my credential program!
Look…just as much as people’s characteristics and experiences are different, so will be the goals for their recovery. As the Rethink Mental Illness website states, how you or I or your loved one will recovery are different, because we can recover from let’s say, depression, in various ways. Examples of ways recovery can be achieved include:
- Taking steps to get closer to where you would like to be—emotionally, spiritually, socially or otherwise
- Building hope for the future by changing your attitudes, goals, skills or roles.
All in all, recovery is your own personal goal that you strive to work on. Whatever goal you astride to in order to overcome your mental illness(es) is a good one. And oh, yeah… you will come across difficulties or setbacks as you undergo mental health recovery. I mean I have…but what keeps me going is the previous times I have overcome my mental illnesses and I just pick myself up and start all over again. You’re probably wondering, what’s the point of recovery then, if you’re bound to fail again and again? What’s the point if your symptoms show up yet again? Why bother at all? You’re supposed to be well by now, that’s why you pursued recovery in the first place. But see that’s the thing… these obstacles are part of the recovery. Just as sometimes coming across the blunders of life is part of life.
Whereas mental illness prohibits a person from being able to relate with others and function in everyday events and situations, recovery helps a person regain control these aspects of life, regardless of living with mental health recovery. And no matter times, I’ve stumbled during my recovery, I will never give up… never give up on the pursuit of regaining control of my life!
For Information On Recovery, Depression, and General Anxiety Disorder Click On The Links Below:
- Recovery: Definitions & Components
- What Is Recovery?
- Moving Beyond Clinical Recovery And Personal Recovery: Reclaiming The Possibility Of Full Recovery
- Recovery Is Possible
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Therapy for Anxiety Disorders