I’ve never described it in these terms, but I hacked my skin-picking disorder. Excoriation disorder used to control every aspect of my life—physically and emotionally—and I was certain I’d suffer forever. Today, I can share with you that this is far from reality. I might have skin picking disorder, but it doesn’t have me.
Recovering from Mental Illness
Have you ever had a moment that makes you question every bit of recovery you’ve achieved to that point? I have—recently, I questioned my skin picking recovery.
I’ve always been the kind of person that gets anxious about taking mental health days off work. Some of that, I think, is due to the lingering stigma in society that it’s not a valid reason to take a day off, but I’m here to say let’s ditch that. Let’s ditch the guilt of taking a day for our mental health and ditch feeling guilty about how we spend it.
Have you ever considered a mental health self-care tip and thought, "That’s not for me?" I know I have. Those kinds of tips used to make me feel even worse about myself because, gosh, how broken was I really if those didn't appeal to or work for me? The secret is that I’m not any more broken than the next person. I just had to find what works for me, even if it’s an unconventional self-care exercise. Doing that really helped me make strides in my recovery.
If the title didn’t give it away, I’m a millennial, and mental health is important to me. In the same way millennials are a generation within a space of pre- and growing technology, I see us as existing in the space of pre- and growing mental health conversations. I’ve been thinking about what that looks like and what that means.
If you’ve clicked on this blog post, someone in your life has likely begun taking steps to recover from their mental health struggles. First of all, thank you. I can say firsthand that having the support of loved ones has an impact on the process. It certainly has for me. Given that, I wanted to share how my loved ones have supported me and how you can support someone, too, in mental health recovery.
As the new year creeps ever closer, you might be thinking about goals for your mental illness recovery. The final countdown to midnight, fireworks, and a brand new start is just days away, and you might be wondering how to set your mental illness recovery goals best. I’m here to share what’s worked for me.
Mental illness recovery looks nothing like I expected it would. Talk of recovery painted pictures of cures for mental illness that removed all struggle from my life and made everything—and I mean everything—better. What I’ve found is that recovery is different from that perception, and the truth is I’m okay with that.
Let’s face it: setbacks aren’t fun, and they can feel especially un-fun when they’re mental health recovery setbacks. Building resilience in mental health recovery can help with that. Resilience sounds like such a big thing, but all it means is the ability to bounce back from difficulties.
When I had nothing but my mental health struggles, I had writing. I had no answers. I had no knowledge of how to fix or stop my pain. I only had emotions simultaneously carving out and bursting from my aching chest, so I tried to put them into words. In doing so, without knowing it, I was writing my way to recovery.