What does mental health recovery look like? It seems to be a basic question. The nswer, however is anything but basic. It is different for every single person fighting with mental health issues.
For me, recovery isn’t about being able to be just like everyone else. I would love to be able to put these issues behnd me, but unfortunately that’s not how these things work. The mental illness will always be part of my life. Recovery isn’t about “curing” the thoughts and feelings.
Recovery, to me anyway, is about still having the thoughts and feelings, the emotional exaggerations, but being able to function with them, not in spite of them. Recovery is about being able to do the things that I have to do to keep myself on an even keel.
Medication is only a small piece of this puzzle. In fact I am on the lowest amount of medications that I have been on in years. And I feel better because of it. That said, I know I need some level of psych meds as I have been totally off meds before, and it was not a pleasant sight. There has to be balance. Learning coping skills have helped me find that balance.
I can not overstate the benifits of both meditation and mindfulness. As a matter of fact, mindfulness is one of the core concepts in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, one of the main treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder. Meditation and mindfulness are both very similiar concepts, the key difference being in meditation you are looking for deep relaxation, and in mindfulness you are being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment, non-judgementally.
Fitness has also been a big help for me. Ive started an every other day weight routine, as well as 20-30 minutes a day on the treadmill. It takes willpower to do this. But I feel so much better for doing it.
To me, this is what recovery looks like. I still have my moments where I struggle, however I can work through them. To me recovery is being able to do the things I need to do to stay healthy. As long as I can do these things, there is nothing I can’t accomplish.