The word recovery is a strange one, you often associate it with a person healing their broken leg or resting after an operation. So, when we apply recovery to mental health, it doesn’t really make sense because you can’t ‘fix’ mental health, you can only manage it.
The thing with recovery is that it is different for everyone, really, it’s just that they are doing the best that they can within their circumstance. Some people may seem like they are doing better than someone else but in truth, there is no comparison; it’s too individual to even consider that.
If we talk about the fact that I am a recovering alcoholic, it means that at one point in time, I relied on alcohol. But now, I only drink occasionally but I still binge drink and don’t think too much about the units. This is still recovery though, because I do not rely on alcohol and nor do I need it; I literally never think of it unless it’s right there in front of me. Even if you compare me to someone who has been sober for years, which is great because that is recovery too; it doesn’t mean that they are doing better than me.
I think, recovery is just a term we use for a period of time where maybe we are more in control of ourselves. Where we can function just that little bit better and find ourselves enjoying things a little bit more because of it. Recovery isn’t about winning, it’s not about fixing, it’s about survival.
So, rather than compare yourself to others, rather than tell yourself that you are failing (because you are not), remember about perspective, remember a quitting smoker only smoking once a day is better than the prior 20 a day. As long as you keep trying – you will get there.
Charlotte Underwood is a blogger and freelance writer who writes passionately and vulnerably about mental health and suicide prevention and healing. She has also authored two books After Suicide and The House on the Avenue. Her passionate outreach to end the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide brings hope and healing to many. Follow her on Twitter @CUnderwoodUK , find her on Facebook and Instagram, and check out her blog charlotteunderwoodauthor.com.