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.
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
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