Recovery is something that is thought of as impossible or next to impossible when suffering with any Mental Health setback. Recovery is such a powerful word & means a lot of different things to different people, to me Recovery means Better, means Healthy, means Successfully overcome all Demons & ills. I’ll be speaking today about Recovery from several different aspects, I’ll be starting from the beginning and working my way up to now. (10 Topics of discussion)
Living with Mental illness
Understanding your diagnosis
Black & White thinking
Understanding new skills
Beginning to adopt the idea of recovery
Black & White thinking is clouded
Recovery is a possibility
Recovery a reality
Living with Mental Illness
So living with any mental illness is rather a dark and lonely place and to the person who is struggling its a very negative and paranoid place to be.
Although its a dark and demonic place to be there is this sense of home with it, the type of thinking like ‘I belong here, this is where I need to be, this is my real home, this is where I can be myself 100%, this dark place nobody understands but me’ these are the type of thoughts with attached feelings to this ‘Dark place’ that simultaneity feels like home, when you think of home you get a warm, happy feeling.
The same can be said for people in this thinking too, yet its dark it feels like home and feels nice to some degree, to put that in perspective, something nice to someone struggling might come across as a paranoid state, like ‘WHY’ are they doing this? ‘WHAT’ do they want from me? which leads to the negative thinking because something nice feels so alien, yet the dark and horrible feels warm and at home.
That’s just one tiny example of the daily struggle of living with mental illness, in my view this example is 0.01%/100% of a struggle, to me this doesn’t seem an issue, but now I’m able to write about these things because I’m in a different place, but I remember everything from them times because they last for over 25 years.
The daily struggle is beyond my writing, I will try to break it down somewhat. The daily struggle starts as soon as you wake, that instant feeling of the day hits you and you know what state your in on that day, and nothing will change that mood? Nothing changes the state of mind you are in and then that leaves that entire day in a cloud because if you feel down to the extreme version of down OR on the flip side you feel great then these two have their own peeks and valleys. firstly with the feeling GREAT, that’s great but we all know that there will be a moment in that day or in the next coming days of a big fall or a big hit or a revenge thing will come, because it would always happen, the feeling of guilt and fear from feeling happy or okay, is immense.
The fear is worst in my opinion than the guilt the fear of a backlash because it will happen and does, and then you have a 1,2,3 week downer after just 1 day of feeling GREAT, that’s a struggle that’s so heart breaking its just sad. secondly the feeling down well that’s normal isn’t it, to feel nothing or feel numb that’s normal but it doesn’t make you feel great about yourself, thinking your worthless and helpless and nobody loves you or cares about you, and when you get shown that in some form then that compounds them emotions and thoughts and leaves you wanting to either self harm or attempt suicide.
All this from just waking up, I think this is great example in a nutshell of the daily struggles we face. I say we because no matter how healthy I am or become or how better I am now or in the future I will always talk about this in a US way because I am one of us who struggled for decades, I know the struggle and pain all too well.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR DIAGNOSIS
This is a very key part because some of us are over the moon when we get a diagnosis that’s CORRECT. While some of us when we find out our diagnosis we run a mile or hear it as an insult or general negative feelings.
Me personally I was happy that I finally could learn about what this diagnosis meant, What is BPD? I was happy that I had something I could learn to help find myself, but at the same time I was angry because I was given a label and I was more angry that I was happy with the fact I had been given a label, that was a personal conflict that I had to go through.
But understanding your diagnosis is a major part of recovery because once your able to at least somewhat understand what your struggles are, its quiet another thing to accept it. Understand is one thing, accepting is quiet a war to fight, once your able to overcome the understand issue and the acceptance issue, that’s when you can really begin to take on board what the struggles you have are and what the right way is to treat your own personal difficulties.
Although us with BPD or any other mental illness, we all get branded with the label, but we all individually react or treat our own ills our own way. What works for you might now work for me and vice versa but the fundamental treatments that specifically target us all with that label them treatments are what they are and its then how we ourselves react to them and then try to accept them.
That’s when things get messy and some resentment might seep in because when some changes work, you may get angry at it because its alien and the very word Change brings with it a lot of mixed feelings to most of us, most of us HATE the word change never mind embracing the changes literally.
Understanding your diagnosis and accepting it is a massive massive part of recovery.
BLACK AND WHITE THINKING
Black and White thinking is a massive problem in most illnesses, no matter what the illness is this black and white thinking spreads through most illnesses. its a big part of the cycle of problems, because there are so many different illnesses and so many different types within just one diagnosis that it makes the black and white thinking kind of an highlighted issue but most of the time it gets put on the back burner because of more pressing problems.
But when black and white thinking is tackled its a rather tricky little fish to keep hold of, just when you think you have it in your hands it slips out, its a very difficult thing to break down and rebuild, because this thinking is something that most of us would of had to deal with since early childhood, by early childhood I’m talking the age range of (5+) upwards. So for a 25 year old or 40 year old or for a 55 year old, breaking this long standing brain pattern, feels impossible and although its a massive challenge its NOT impossible but breaking it takes so much effort on your side and on your therapists side.
But once it is broken into, that’s where the real work can begin, because retraining your brain is like this, there is a saying out there called (Train your Chimp) the chimp is in reference to your brain and your thought patterns, retraining your chimp is very difficult but it is possible.
This is my own personal opinion, has someone who’s had to do this very thing) I think to be able to change the black and white thinking, you have to be READY to do it, and only you know when you are ready, but not only ready you have to be willing to take on board the new things and be OPEN to them, from experience watching people and myself this second thing is harder than the first, being OPEN to new idea’s is very scary and comes with a lot of doubt and fear, but if your READY and OPEN then you have a great chance to change your life for the BETTER.
Therapy means many things to many people, it can mean something positive and it can mean something negative.
The positive is that some people find therapy a soul searching thing to do and for them to learn about there own issues and there own triggers and what is actually causing them distress, yes it takes a lot of courage and a lot of pain does come with therapy but its a positive to some non the less.
The negative is that some people find therapy not only unhelpful but a space to judge them or put them down or humiliate them in any form or fashion, also the people who struggle to adopt therapy as an idea alone, often struggle to cope with the mechanisms that therapy demands, such as being open and honest and being able to talk about the things that are getting to you.
Doing this alone is extreme, but doing this while feeling all these negative feelings, it makes that job not just extreme to almost impossible as a feeling.
But feelings doesn’t mean reality, which most of us humans struggle with, just because you feel something, yes its real to you but it doesn’t mean its actually real to the situation.
Yes your feelings are real and true to you, but the situation may be showing you some truth that you may find difficult to embrace, which is why therapy is so difficult, because you have to take on new ideas and challenge your rooted thoughts and ideas and that challenge is a WAR and nothing less than that.
It is a constant battle to overcome your demons with new ideas, if your able to do this while still holding these negative feelings, if your able to hold some light then you will benefit from therapy.
If your still struggling to embrace therapy, then maybe other options should be looked at, to help you open up a bit more, before you start a commitment with therapy. Because it is a commitment.
UNDERSTANDING NEW SKILLS
Understanding new skills is a major part of recovery, its one thing to accept new skills and to implement them from understanding new skills. There is a big difference at least to me, the understanding new skills will benefit you in such a way that; once you are able to accept the new skills its then the challenge of understanding them.
Yes of course it may seem like it comes naturally but to actually sit down and ask yourself what they mean to you, that’s where the understanding comes in, because once you are able to understand the skills then you can start to adopt them into not only your mind but in your life, its the little changes that make the biggest difference.
Here is examples:
Before new skills; I ALWAYS FUCK EVERYTHING UP
After new skills; I Sometimes fuck things up, but hey I’m human and it doesn’t matter if I trip over, what matters is that I get back up and continue
That new skill there is so vital to the person, because if we go with the original sentence, then your mind set is in a state of ‘I’m useless, I’m worthless, I’m just a fucking idiot, I cant do anything right can’.
Now if we go with the 2nd part – Yes today I failed and I couldn’t keep on track, but okay tomorrow I will attempt again and this time I know where not to make the same mistake, life is about learning and overcoming’.
You can clearly see here the difference between the two statements and the two entirely different reactions ‘ Cause and affect’, if your able to embrace the new skills, then your reactions to situations will change over time, it will become less natural for the 1st statement to take place and it will become more natural for the 2nd statement to take place. This is how understanding new skills can help you in such a big way.
BEGINING TO ADOPT THE IDEA OF RECOVERY
This step is key to the scales turning to recovery, beginning to adopt recovery is a massive step for the person, leaving the old thinking behind and beginning to embrace this idea of recovery.
Not being aware of what it means and what will happen and how things will change, these are all the unknowns but yet there is that desire inside to find out what it is.
This is a great thing if you are feeling this, it means your on the way to adopting recovery just as an idea, and just doing that alone is a massive step in itself.
If your able to adopt this just as an idea then the scales are most certainly turning and that is great great thing if it is happening.
All id say to this is try your very best to embrace this mind set change and try your very best to keep the work up, because its vital for you to continue the work because this alone is a great achievement, if you have Borderline Personality Disorder specifically then this change is life changing already.
BLACK AND WHITE THINKING IS CLOUDED
This step to me personally is such a F.U to the old mind set, I put it in that way because Black and White thinking is so damaging and troubling and holds people back.
The I’m certain 100% its either this way or no way, with no grey area. It is so destructive and holds you back, yet its the very first thing we go to in our minds, its always there like a nagging sound or a itch you cant stop, its always there no matter what and you are always on either side of the fence.
Both sides are equally destructive, to embrace the grey area is such a magnificent achievement that once you are in the grey area mind set, its next to impossible to go back, because your able to see the good and bad and the ugly, rather than just seeing the bad and the ugly.
Once its beginning to become cloudy is a BIG achievement and you should embrace it 1000%, not 100 but 1000.
RECOVERY IS A POSSIBILITY
By now your almost at the point of recovery, if its now a possibility then your on the way to it.
If you have adopted and understood all other parts and you now consider this thing called recovery is a possibility, then all you need to do is continue what you are doing and try to embrace more new skills as they come, because they do come.
RECOVERY A REALITY
Now recovery is a reality, its now when you can confidently say to yourself that all the demons and stuff that was keeping you down in the pits, all of that is pretty much defeated, and you have now adopted all skills needed and embraced the changes and accepted recovery is not only an idea, but its possible and now its a reality.
These 3 things all link up together and now its a reality, its a reality because you was able to take on all the challenges and you was able to adopt the new ideas and new skills and you was able to use them in a way that helped you.
By now if you have got to this point then you will know and understand the hardship you went through to get here and now you are here its time to embrace it, without fear of anything, because there is nothing to fear.
(Not even fear itself).
Recovery this long awaited moment that you may of thought wasn’t ever possible. Its now here and you are now ready to embrace all that may come, in the future.
Now you have overcome your demons, not beaten and not cured and not anything like that, but simply you have overcome.
You are able to live your life free from any guilt from your past struggles, you are able to move on in your life and embrace a new life, a life for all the better.
You have overcome your own personal mental health demons, and that battle is the hardest any human can go through, changing your mind set and retraining tour brain is the hardest thing any human can do, and to overcome all the demons preventing you that alone is the greatest achievement you can do as a human.
Recovery is just that a Great achievement and you should embrace it, to its fullest and be proud that you made here and you will continue to stay here because you are strong enough to do it.
You are so much stronger than you ever thought you could be. Stay Strong!
Id like to thank everyone who read this blog on RECOVERY. Please feel free to leave any feedback or comments. Thank You!