Is Mental Health Recovery Possible? A Recovery Story
Written by Deidra Denny
Is mental health recovery possible? YES, mental health recovery is possible!
I consider myself to be a mental health veteran. I've been in inpatient treatment approximately 40 times since the age of 21. I learned a lot from those inpatient stays, especially coping skills. But no matter how much you are taught... none of that matters until you are good and ready to change and get your life together.
All it takes is just a little flame of wanting to change... to snowball into a full-fledged recovery.
I started my real recovery three years ago. I was at my worst. I had 8 ER visits in 6 weeks, for suicidal idealizations. I had almost attempted overdosing - twice - during that time. I couldn't get anyone to listen (including my doctor), except for my husband, who was terrified of what he might come home to.
Then, I met Joe Peoples, a life coach online. He taught me over these last few years solution-based thinking. Joe and my husband have taught me more about recovery than anyone or anything else.
So you may wonder like I used to... what does recovery look like? Recovery looks like what YOU want recovery to look like. It depends on your goals and plans for your life.
For me, recovery was learning to love myself, and being able to look into the mirror and genuinely talk to myself, tell myself that I was okay the way I was, and that I loved myself. That was the game-changer for me.
So really how long have I been in recovery? For me, I feel it started 3.5 years ago when I started prioritizing myself and my mental health. I wouldn't have prioritized my health if it wasn't for my husband. He kept telling me to focus on myself (and I thought I was) until I really “got it” as far as taking care of myself. I thought self-care was just getting a shower, which sometimes was lagging. I didn't realize self-care was so much more.
I'd say self-care is a mental attitude. An attitude of not only loving yourself but loving life and where you are in it. I know this isn't as easy as it sounds, and you would be right. But the journey to self-love is worth it. You'd better believe it.
Working on yourself is hard work and doesn't happen overnight.
My suggestion is just to start. That's it.
- The thing I suggest for you to start with is an ACTION. Start small. Small changes will snowball into big ones if you are consistent, and keep at it. Consistency is key. Will you start off with good consistency? No, but start and just keep at it. And it will snowball into being consistent. You can't be consistent without action.
- Another suggestion is the law of 1% every day. What is the law of 1%? It is changing yourself just a little bit further than the last day. For example, let's use exercise: you add 1 more repetition each day until you reach your goal. Then you maintain your repetitions, and add the next thing to it.
Easy does it. Start small and somewhere.