Recovery, a word we have all heard before at some point in our lives. The first point I’m going to make here is that recovery means something different to each and every person, and you’re idea of recovery may not be someone else’s idea of recovery; and that’s perfectly okay. The journey to recovery is your journey, and how you take that journey is up to you, there will be setbacks but they are to be expected. Recovery is not always about success, there will be hiccups in the road but you can continue past them, this journey is not straightforward. However you can and you will get there.
The Steps towards Recovery
Recovery is a process, and to make that process easier, here are some clearly outlined steps you can take towards recovery.
The moment recovery begins, is the moment you realise and accept that you do have a problem. Denial will completely hinder the recovery process, and prevent it from even beginning. I have found that with myself and the majority of other people, the first step to recovery can be the hardest. Admitting that you have a problem is difficult, and a lot of the time you may not want to believe that you have a problem; but by admitting and accepting it, you can work towards resolving that problem and completing the journey to recovery.
Now that you have accepted your problem, it is time to take action. This action depends on the problem at hand, and how you want to deal with it. As recovery is a very personal thing, the action you take may be very different to anyone else’s, but that’s okay, find what works best for you and keep persevering with that action. For example, if you are like me in the sense that we both suffer from schizoaffective disorder, you may choose to take up therapy and medication, whereas I may choose to only take up therapy; yet we are still working towards the same goal, we are merely taking different paths to get there. At first, this may seem very difficult, but as time goes on you will find that it gets easier and easier; and that the action you have chosen to take becomes increasingly effective.
In order for this action to work successfully, it is important to trust and cooperate with those around you, particularly those who are supporting you and aiding you in your journey to recovery. This is because sometimes you can become too ill to see what is best for you, therefore putting your trust into trained professionals can be hugely beneficial. Recovery is something you achieve for yourself, and it cannot be achieved for you by other people, but they can provide the support you need to complete your journey to recovery.
Now it’s time to take up a healthy self-care routine, along with using and developing wellness tools. For me, this is one of the most important steps towards recovery, and also one of the most important aspects of it. This might include things like taking up exercise, making time for yourself to relax and partake in hobbies, taking up meditation or yoga, anything that you feel benefits you and helps you to function better is a wellness tool. By using these tools regularly you should find it becomes easier to manage your mental illness, as well as improve your overall wellbeing.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you are well on your way to recovery; and as you have come so far along, it is time to begin with self-evaluation. However, before you do begin with self-evaluation it is important to note that this has to be achieved in a healthy way, rather than becoming self-critical of oneself. Self-evaluation and improvement are wonderful tools that can be extremely effective, whereas self-criticism will only stifle your journey to recovery and promote unhealthy behaviours. Accepting your flaws and failures is the key to moving on and continuing with your growth.
The end of the journey to recovery is drawing in, you are only a few steps away from completing your journey; and everything becomes fair easier and simpler from this point onward. As you now know how to perform a self-evaluation, it is time to being cultivating healthy thinking and behavioural habits. This may mean enforcing positive thinking, finding healthy ways to deal with stress, and just rerouting negative energies into a positive behaviours and thinking patterns. These will soon become habits and you will find that the way you manage your mental illness will come from cultivating these behaviours. This is also the time to realise that feelings are not always facts, and you can choose how to react and deal with them.
You are one step away from completing your journey to recovery, and that final step is to move on with your life and give your recovery process time to work successfully. Recovery will take a different amount of time for each individual, and it’s important to remember that there are some things that only time can heal, and with time the problems you are suffering from now will become much more manageable. As humans, we learn through experiences, and that’s why time is one of the most important factors within recovery, time heals all.
Setbacks – What to do and how to cope
During your journey to recovery you will inevitably experience setbacks, these are a natural part of the process and can occur when you are improving things in the long term. As we are dealing with the recovery of mental illness here, it is important to have a plan set out in case of an emergency or an acute relapse. This will ensure that you get the support and help you need immediately, and get you back onto the road to recovery as soon as possible. Having a good support network is greatly beneficial to aid you on your journey to recovery, as if you do experience any setbacks or relapses, you will have the support of others to carry you through that difficult time. When you do experience a setback, keep persevering and try again. If you find that you keep failing in your journey to recovery, take up a different action or method to reach your goal of recovery, but never give up on recovery itself.
Recovery is achievable, you’ll get there.