No pain, No gain

Here we are in the last day of February. Where does the time go? It feels like we just celebrated Christmas and New Year’s.  I can’t complain though.

The days are getting longer, they are getting warmer, and spring is not far away.  Now that I have been able to work my arm, shoulder, and neck, it has been starting to loosen up, which I am thankful for, although it is still achey.

The fact that I know that it has no damage does put my mind at ease where it comes to working it. It also makes me realize something about the human body. It is an amazing machine and,where it comes to injuries, can usually do a good job of healing itself. However, that recovery is not always pleasant. It can hurt. A lot. The short term discomfort can dissuade a lot of people from recovery.

Mental health recovery can be a lot like recovery from an injury. Short term pain during treatment, but long term gain. Going through treatment for mental illness does hurt, emotionally anyways. It’s not comfortable. It is down right challenging at times.  Similar to weight lifting and stretching, therapy can cause pain. So why do it?

We go through the therapy, because like the weights and stretches, therapy makes us stronger. It provides us coping skills that allow us to function better in life. Successful therapy is not about curing our illnesses, as much as that would be nice. It is about increasing our quality  of life, and increasing the mass of our “emotional” muscles. It does take work. The results are worth it though.

Today, people are more apt to give up on things because things can be hard. Don’t give up. keep fighting. The challenge and effort are worth it. Feel the pain. If you are feeling the pain, then you know you are alive. Dealing with mental illness does not make someone weak. Therapy is not a weakness, nor a hinderance. People who deal with mental illness have an internal fortitude that no one who has not been through it can understand. That is evidenced by the scars on their bodies, the scars in their minds, and the fact that they are still standing.

It takes work. It takes effort. However,your struggles make you stronger. I am a believer of this. I have fought against my mind for years. The ups are getting longer, and the down swings are getting easier to tolerate. Yet, I still stagger in the downs. Staggering is not a failure. It is a fact of life. As long as I keep getting up one more time than I fall, I am well on my way to recovery.

Kevin

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