What is Mental Illness Recovery?
The definition of mental illness recovery is a “return to a normal state of health, mind or strength. To regain possession or control of something stolen or lost.” For me, and for others suffering with a mental illness, the loosely named "recovery" is the ultimate goal. To integrate back into normality, to regain the possession of broken faculties, to retrieve the logical mind that has somehow been lost. That is mental illness recovery.
I Looked for Perfection and Found Failure
Since the age of 13 when I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa -- and from the age of 16 when I finally admitted I had a problem too big to fight alone -- my life has been focused on that one word: recovery.
And here I am, at 25, still searching for mental illness recovery.
I think that mental illness recovery -- as a destination -- is a lie. To define recovery, one has to be able to define normality. And to define normality would take infinite lifetimes. It is impossible, unfathomable and non-quantifiable.
The perfectionist in me has taken the concept of recovery and demarcated it as flawlessness. Excellence. Anything short of that has become worthless. And this is how we trip ourselves up. We become stuck in a cycle -- striving for perfection, making a mistake, giving up, then ultimately beginning again, feeling a little less determined and a little less whole than before.
Recovering From Mental Illness Is to Not Follow the Rules
So this is my postulation; this is my thesis. We are none of us recovered – not truly. And perhaps in order to attain the healthiest state of being, we need to change our perspectives. We need to see that mental illness recovery -- or indeed, any kind of recovery -- is not synonymous with the precision of rules and faultlessness. Recovering from the debris of our demons is learning how to fight, learning self-acceptance, and learning how to give ourselves respect for the brilliance of our imperfections.
Crowley, H. (2015, June 27). What is Mental Illness Recovery?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2015/06/what-is-mental-illness-recovery
Author: Hannah Crowley
It's true life's a journey, not a destination. Things happen to all of us along the way. If we are to get anywhere we must learn to deal with unpleasant things, rest and refuel when necessary but then get on with living