Sunday, 22 October 2017

Nerd Church - Recovery...?

(Warning: this post discusses mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety)

I've struggled with depression and anxiety for several years now.

I was ill for quite a while before I started this blog, and Dora Reads has been running, in one form or another, for nearly three years.

complex girl cogs pic

My last bad episode of mental health problems was last spring, and the beginning of the summer.

And I know that I can all too easily find myself there again.

People expect that, with mental health problems, you are either 95% ok, or you're in hospital. For many people, that's just not true - not that there is any shame in any of those situations, because there isn't!

But, as often happens a few months after a bad period, I've been starting to wonder - how will I know when I'm 'well'? When do I 'count' as 'recovered'?

Will I ever be 100% 'recovered'? Or should we start thinking of recovery more as a life-long process?

Many people who have experienced addiction or substance abuse problems consider themselves recovering permanently.

And maybe that's ok. Maybe we should take more of a long-term view of mental health problems.

The dream of being 100% recovered is too appealing to ever give up on entirely - for me anyway. A day when I can say that there's no chance of my illness relapsing isn't something I'd turn down.

But pressuring myself into trying to attain that day isn't what's best for me now.

Maybe general mental health treatment needs to fall more inline with addiction treatment in this too - adapting more of a 'one day at a time' approach to things.

Because I'm proud of how far I've come - but the future seems too big, too overwhelming, to think about right now.

I've never been an especially patient person, so I tend to find myself uber-frustrated by not being able to just jump out of bed one morning and be like, 'I'm cured!!!'

But I have to face the fact that I'm in it for the long haul, and that being happy and relaxed is hard work.

Yep, I said happiness and being relaxed is hard work.

I know that might be quite difficult to understand if you've never struggled with your mental health - but there it is.

Being happy is hard work. Relaxing is hard work. Being healthy is hard work.

But I'm going to hold onto it with both f**king hands - one day at a time! XD

If you're struggling emotionally or mentally my dear nerdlets, PLEASE get help.

There are suicide prevention and/or mental health helplines you can use.

And, if you're in the UK, you can talk to The Samaritans at any time and about any topic.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to comment and share 😇

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeArrBookNerd, on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin, and on Google+. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

Related Reading:

Accidental Hipster Mum


  1. Great post Cee! I’m not sure if you have anything similar in the UK but there’s a wonderful treatment facility here in Canada called CAMH. They have buildings all over the country were people can either live in or drop by to receive care, and they do research as well. I had the opportunity to visit one location and I loved how they didn’t have that personae of a mental hospital. It just looked like a friendly community.

    1. We don't really, unless it's private (i.e. expensive.) We have hospitals for the most urgent cases and for people who have been sectioned (i.e. committed to hospital by law order,) but our public mental health services are vastly under-funded and the waiting lists are huge. Basically, I'm not bad enough for a lot of services!

      There are charities who offer some services here and there - but they're usually over-burdened, too far away, or just not right for me personally. I love that there are people who they can help though - and we need the range they provide :)

      I'm lucky though - I've got my family. And I'm good at the moment :) (I just need to have more patience!) <3

    2. I get it! Sometimes a loving family is the best treatement you can receive :) <3

  2. Wow. Just wow. I love this post. I'm only just realizing that my habitual procrastinating could actually be linked with anxiety and mood swings and so much of what you say here rings so true for me. Looking ahead too far -sometimes even into tomorrow's to-do list- can be so overwhelming for me that I just toss the to-do list aside, sometimes for a couple of weeks.
    I've recently been talking with a few friends who struggle with mental health problems and this idea of treating it as a life-long process, I can really see how that could release a lot of pressure.
    Thanks so much for writing this; it's fantastic!

    1. Thank you so much! :)

      I find that to-do lists are a double-edged sword, so I tend to use them as a reminder, rather than as a dictation of what I *have* to do. If I don't write things down I sometimes panic about not knowing what I need to do - so it tends to clear my head to make a list.

      Good to hear that you've been talking with friends about mental health - the more discussion happens, the less stigma there is!

      If you find you need help at any point (and I'm not saying you *do*, it's just an 'if',) then please do! It's so important.

      Thanks so much for your awesome comment :) <3

  3. It's a tough one, I'm never sure that anyone really 'recovers' from anything x


    1. Except maybe the flu or something! ;)

      I know what you mean - and I think that's the most difficult part. We don't know whether there'll ever be a moment when we can say 'I've beaten this. I'm done with it.'

    2. I don't think so, not with mental health stuff. I know some people end up with a transient spate of depression after the end of a relationship or something and they do seem to 'recover'. But when it's deep rooted, when there's nothing tangible wrong and it keeps you up at night, keeps you in your bed and away from showering or eating. I think that's the sort you just 'manage'. You feel better, you get along, but you know the future can hold a terrible time. You're beholden to you brain and you know it could just malfunction and take away everything you've worked for.

      I've suffered with mental health problems since my teens. I'm classed as high functioning, so sometimes by the time I'm asking for help it's long past a time that I should have been asking.

      Sorry I just waffled on, I don't really write about this stuff. I used to have a very emo Livejournal when I was about 15, then a similar Tumblr, both long deleted now. I like to pretend I'm always good. I like reading your blog because I relate so hard. I think we'd have been real life friends if our paths ever crossed! xx

    3. No problem - sometimes you just need to talk about these things. That was one of the things this blog was founded on - books were one of the main things that kept me going through some of the toughest times, and I wanted to share that and talk openly about mental health and anything else that I wanted to talk about!

      And feel free to waffle on - I don't mind in the slightest! Who knows whether we'd be friends - I hope so! But I'm also very awkward IRL (like, even more than online, lol!) so who knows? Still, I consider you a friend - if you're ever in South Wales let me know! We'll have to meet up. :)

  4. This is a really valid post. It can be hard to let go of the hope of being completely recovered, but it also seems a bit hard to say you're always recovering. But, it's different for everyone as you've said. I can't speak from a first person perspective on this because I don't have a mental illness, but as a recovery from anything - addiction, a physical injury and so on - I like to think of them as journeys. Sometimes with a journey you don't know when the end will come, or if it will ever come, but you're still making progress on your journey. There can be some setbacks sometimes.

    1. That's a good way of thinking about it for a lot of people. It doesn't quite work for me because of too much of my parents telling me 'life's a journey!' as a kid - it's lost all meaning to me! Lol. :)

  5. such a powerful post as usual. Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues run DEEP in my family. They go back so many generations that it went unnoticed until very recently. We always thought we were just grumpy, melancholic, weird people. Until I had my first kid and went through a very acute post-partum depression (with suicidal tendencies and all) I didn't even know I suffered from it. I thought I was also particularly "melancholic" person. I have come to accept it as a chronic condition. I don't hope to be cured anymore BUT I have learned to manage it so the very bad episodes don't come as often. I can't actually remember the last one anymore. I'm sorry you had a very bad one in the spring-summer and I do hope you get cured one day but in the meantime know that there is hope. It's manageable you can learn to live with it and be "happy" [In quotes because "happy" may have a different meaning for us] Thank you for writing these posts! sending you tons of love. xoxo

    1. Thank you!

      And I'm glad you feel better now *hugs* I hope it stays that way for as long as possible.

      I'm ok - I just have to stop expecting myself to be 100% better straight away (I have zero patience! Lol.)

    2. yup you gotta keep in mind you, like everyone esle, will be unhappy sometimes. I have a type A personality so "everything has to be perfect" including my mood! so every time I din't feel ecstatically happy I get anxious "OH OH I'M GETTING DEPRESSED OH OH HERE WE GO AGAIN. DEPRESSION IS COMING FOR ME" seriously sometimes I just want to slap myself. "Pull yourself together woman! you are just NOT depressed. You are just NOT super happy! NO ONE can be super happy all the time" SMH! Sometimes I'm my worst enemy ;-)

    3. Yeah... I wouldn't describe myself as any personality type per se, but I def. overthink things! <3


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