Learning to Embrace Good Times in Depression Recovery
I missed my last scheduled blog post due to illness, but in truth, I was relieved because aside from the gastric flu wreaking havoc with my digestive system, I didn't have anything to talk about. I was (and am) doing well. When I sat down to write this week's piece, I had a similar bittersweet realization. This blog is Coping with Depression, but at the moment, I don't feel as though I am "coping" with anything in particular. I am, for all intents and purposes, recovered from depression. Does that mean I should give up writing this blog? I think not.
What Does Depression Recovery Look Like?
Of course, my version of "recovery" is unique to me, but in short, I am not currently troubled by the relentless carousel of intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors associated with my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I do not feel helpless, worthless, and trapped, and I am finding myself less preoccupied with my once all-consuming fear of failure. I attribute this state of good mental health to a combination of factors: the use of coping strategies I learned in therapy, some small recent personal and professional successes, and the gradual easing of lockdown measures in the UK.
Why Continue to Write If I'm Recovered from Depression?
First, I think the narrative around mental health should focus just as much on recovery as it does on trauma. Yes, stories of struggle are invaluable in helping people feel less isolated and access appropriate support, but it is just as important for those people to hear from those of us who have been through the mire and come out the other side. We should seek solidarity in success as well as in struggle and use this community as a place to celebrate as well as commiserate.
Second, I have been here before. At the risk of sounding bleak, I am under no illusion that my battle against depression has reached its conclusion. Of course, it would be wonderful if that was the case, and I was able to ride off into the sunset on a horse called Recovery, but that is not realistic — not for me, and not for most people with experience of mental ill-health. I will likely experience a relapse of mental illness symptoms at some point, and if/when that happens, I am committed to being honest about it with this community to show the ever-changing reality of living with mental illness. Maybe on that day, I'll come back to this post to remind myself that recovery is possible and get back up on that horse.
Good Times Should Be Embraced in Depression Recovery
Your mental health is a living entity — something that needs to be cultivated and nurtured if you want it to thrive. At the moment, my health is good, and I am choosing to embrace that and be grateful for it, but if my recovery wilts, I know that this blog will always be my "safe place" to open up about my issues and find solidarity in my struggles, as well as my successes. My name is Jen, and I am doing well, for now.
Lear, J. (2021, June 24). Learning to Embrace Good Times in Depression Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, July 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2021/6/learning-to-embrace-good-times-in-depression-recovery