Everyone will have their own view and opinion on what recovery is, until recently I hadn’t taken much notice of the word or what it meant, but I guess since I am feeling more positive with my OCD this past few months, I have asked my self ‘Am I in recovery?’ The thing is I don’t really think there’s a definite answer to the question ‘what is recovery?’ I think it’s a journey anyone with mental health will go through at some point, and it will be different for everyone.
I personally don’t think there is a time limit on how long it takes for someone to recover from mental illness and I’m not entirely sure there is such thing as ‘recovery’ I think in some cases it is a life long commitment and I don’t mean that negatively at all, I just mean you never stop learning about your illness and ways to cope, and I think it’s about being able to live a fulfilling life and making sure your mental health problems and in my case my OCD doesn’t take over again. I think it’s a life long journey, that’s not to say no one can ever fully recover and live an OCD free life, but I personally think OCD is the kind of illness that once you’ve got rid of one form, another form tries to creep in and stress might bring it out, or certain situations might bring it out of you. I think even if you are recovered you have to be aware that OCD might show its ugly face again, but to not be disheartened if that happens, to check yourself and remember how far you have come and remember you can fight it again. I think as long as you are living a fulfilling, happy life where you are in control of your OCD or whatever mental health problem you suffer with then that’s all that matters.
I think I am coming to the point when I think I could be just starting my journey to recovery, I feel more control of my OCD than ever and I feel like I have learnt so much about myself and my OCD already. I would consider myself ‘recovered’ if I could keep a job and know that if tomorrow or next week or at some point I was to have a bad day, I would be able to cope and carry on my day, where as at the moment my bad days often take over and I can’t carry on as normal. During recovery I think you go through so many emotions, some days I don’t even know if I want to recover or if I can ever see myself doing so, other days I am more positive and deep down I want too. It is such a scary feeling though I know recently I’ve felt every emotion going, happy, sad, frustrated, angry, scared, proud and most of all anxious.
I’m not going to lie, I am so scared of getting better and getting a job, just the future in general scares me so so much, but part of that is my OCD, wanting certainty and reassurance that everything’s going to be ok. OCD is normally future based, we live too much in the future and not enough in the present, that’s why a lot of our thoughts consist of ‘what if?’ If we were living for the now there would be no ‘What ifs’, which is one of the reasons why thinking of recovery and the future seems so frightening, there is so many ‘What if’ questions that can’t be answered.
I think during the journey of recovery there are so many times your going to feel like you’ve gone backwards, but that is recovery, it’s taking the good with the bad but coming out the other side fighting harder and becoming stronger after every step back, I don’t think recovery is about having no OCD or no mental health problems but I think it’s about being able to live how you want to and noticing when you might need to take some time to go back over what you’ve learned and apply it before things get on top of you. Don’t expect recovery to be plain sailing and straight forward, take each day as it comes and when you get to that day when you can smile and keep going through a bad day, keep going and never stop recovering.
So that’s my opinion on recovery, let me know in the comments what your views on recovery are or if you agree with me and remember stay strong ?