What Recovery Means to Me

Yesterday, one of the daily word prompts here on WP was Recovery. I didn’t see it till it was already time for me to go to bed, so I’m writing about this word today. Today, I am sharing with you what recovery from my mental health conditions means to me.

First, there are a few things recovery doesn’t mean to me. Recovery isn’t the same as being happy all the time – that’d be an unrealistic goal. It also isn’t the same as independence. I don’t intend on ever living independently again and there are few things with respect to life skills I’d really still want to learn.

Recovery does mean no longer being scared when I’m able to do something independently. Currently, I constantly expect people to overestimate my abilities, so when I can do something independently, I think people will expect me to do it all the time.

Similarly, recovery means no longer being afraid of my feelings, both good and bad. Affect phobia is a thing, you know? I currently tend to dissociate from my feelings a lot. I also often counter joy or sadness with anger, because that’s the easiest emotion for me to express.

Recovery means having a relatively stable sense of self. I don’t necessarily want to integrate all alternate parts of my personality, although it’s okay if it happens spontaneously. We do want to achieve cooperation among ourselves. This also means being able to accept the seemingly opposite sides of me.

Recovery means, as a result of the above, no longer needing to rely on negative coping strategies such as self-harm, rage or impulsive behavior. I will no doubt still have times when I indulge into an unhealthy habit such as overeating or buying stuff I don’t need. That’s okay, since I don’t think total self-control is a realistic goal. I just don’t want to use these as coping skills when feeling overwhelmed, and I no longer want to engage in self-harm at all.

Lastly, recovery means no longer expecting people to abandon me if they know the real me. Currently, I have such a negative self-image that I believe any positive aspects of me are a façade and at the core I’m so wicked no-one should want to be associated with me. Overcoming this is probably the hardest thing to achieve, as expectation of abandonment is such an ingrained thought pattern. I really hope to someday stop seeing myself as one giant manipulator though.

In addition to the word prompt, I am linking up with #LifeThisWeek and #SeniSal.

18 thoughts on “What Recovery Means to Me

  1. Affect phobia, I know it well. Anger is the only emotion society does not view as a character flaw so I know it well, and that is sad.

    My idea of recovery would be a year on a working med cocktail so I am strong enough to battle all this situational stuff and negativity.

    I wish you the best on your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sad yet true indeed how society views most emotions.

      I hope you find the right med combo soon. I’ve been on the exact same med combo, same dosage, for 2 1/2 years. Still, I want to someday lower my Abilify dosage.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughtful post,. The last sentence of your final paragraph is especially poignant. It is so true that we must trust others to love the “real” us. People who love us will not run and hide if we show our true colors. Thanks for this encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting and I’m glad I inspired you. I am not sure I really believe that anyone would love the real me, whatever that may be, but I hope to someday believe in it.


  3. On your last point, your husband married you, didn’t he? So he must have seen something positive rather than negative there. Even if you see the negatives outweighing the positives. As I have gotten older, I have given up asking *why* people see positives in me, I’m just glad that they do. Just those few, key people.
    On your first, you seem to imply that you have no desire to live independently. Is that the case, or is it a case of thinking you might not cope if you tried?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, agree with your point about not asking why people see positives in me.

      No, I truly don’t have a desire to live independently. I mean, I’d love to be able to live closer to my husband, but currently I don’t even think I ever want to live with him again. Part of the reason is of course my idea that I wouldn’t cope, but I think it’s not just that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well-done on your recovery and how you see it. I know I am still in a mental (emotional) recovery from having had cancer and then more surgery in the past years. Now I am almost physically recovered, my emotional recovery is taking a wee bit longer but I recognise it for what it is. Good health news.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is 43/51 Inside 26.10.2020. Hope to see you there. Denyse.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad you are able to appreciate how far you’ve come both physically and emotionally, even though the emotional recovery is taking longer than you might want.


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