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Mental Health - Recovering from Mental Illness

How might you balance social responsibility and mental health recovery? In my mental health recovery, I have had to consider what responsibilities I have to myself vs. social responsibility.
How do you determine if you're depressed or just sad? Navigating emotions while recovering from mental illness is incredibly tricky. For me, mental illness completely broke my internal emotional compass. Before I experienced depression, I could identify emotions like sadness, worry, and joy fairly easily. But after I experienced depression, it became nearly impossible to distinguish between depression and sadness or nervousness and anxiety. Even though I've been recovering for years, this is still one of my biggest struggles as a human being. Luckily, all those years in therapy have taught me a few things, and I'd like to share them with you.
I have been writing for the "Recovering from Mental Illness" blog at HealthyPlace for over two years now. It has been an amazing experience that forced me to really examine my own mental health and what recovery means to me. I am in a better place because of it. I've also gained a lot of confidence as a writer.
I have been taking a poetry class at a nearby university -- one I attended when I was struggling in early recovery. In returning this fall I've had to face fears and past failures.
People might think I have my life together, and for the most part, I do. But even after years of recovery, I still struggle. My struggles and how I react to them are different now from when I was first diagnosed, but some days it is painfully clear that recovery is a lifelong battle.
My daughter is only three years old, but I already worry that she might experience some of the same mental health issues I did growing up. There are some signs I want to look for.
I fake normalcy because having a mental illness is isolating and makes me feel different. Facing the outside world can be difficult. Here are five coping methods (positive and negative) I noticed I do when I leave the house that help me fake normalcy.
I have recently quit drinking. Drinking has negatively impacted my life for the past few months and I decided to stop a couple weeks ago. I am hoping this will put me on a path to a healthier life both mentally and physically.
Remembering my medication at this point in my life and mental health recovery is very important. I accept that I need psychiatric medication to function. That can be a hard thing to admit sometimes. I'm at a place where I have a lot going on in my life and I feel it would fall apart if I didn't take my medication. Long story short -- my medication is extremely important.