Before I began to recover from around 10 yrs worth of trauma I experienced so much opposition to unpacking it all, opposition which I internalised and which left me feeling a ridiculous amount of guilt for having perfectly human feelings. And as it took so long to get help I began to see symptoms as just a part of my personality and my reality. I never really considered recovery, what it would look like, what it would feel like.
Recovery is hard. Recovery can feel like you’re getting worse. Recovery can feel brutal. Recovery can involve grief and anger and emotions that make you feel like a failure, make you feel weak and vulnerable. And there’s only so much positivity and hard work that can get you through before you have to acknowledge that sometimes you have to be vulnerable with your emotions and accept what you’re feeling. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not getting better – it’s sitting with the emotions that you’re most uncomfortable with and surviving them that proves you’re making progress.
These kind of things are so important to have an open dialogue about – because people don’t get better over night and mental health isn’t only worth acknowledging if someone can be “strong” all of the time. If you’re recovering from something it’s ok to feel pain and it’s okay to be vulnerable and open about it. Recovery isn’t just about slowly becoming a happier, more productive, more stable person. Recovery is about grieving and feeling and, as a result, making room to let the good things in.