During a breakdown no-one ever tells you how hard recovering is. People do not realise recovering is just as hard as when you are in the middle of a break down. It is not a straight line up you think, it is full of twists and turns.
RECOVERY IS NOT LIKE THIS IT IS UP AND DOWN
People who have not suffered a breakdown do not understand this. We are recovering from a very serious illness, one that can and does take lives. This is why it is so hard and upsetting when people dismiss your illness so easily.
Recovery, like with serious illnesses takes time. It is baby steps. It is understanding that doing things you used to do will be hard, draining and not enjoyable, but with time you CAN and WILL find that little bit of enjoyment again, even if it takes time.
I found out the hard way if you try and do too much too soon it will break you again – this was when I found myself back in hospital for the 2nd time.
You learn so much about yourself during this, you come out the other end a different person, with different values and goals; this makes it even harder to recover as you and others need to get to know the ‘new’ you.
6 months after my last discharge from hospital people tell me I have come a long way but I cant see it. I know I am doing more than I have I have done the last 2 years, but I can’t help comparing it to life ‘before’ and what I was doing.
Through therapy this you form great bonds with people you have met (you actually know more about them than you do your closest friends and family) and it is hard not to compare their recovery to yours. All you see is others are steps ahead of you in recovery, you can list all things they are doing, discounting all the things you are which are equally as good. You do not see the dark moments they have, just like you. I know I am guilty of it and equally had to reassure people that all is not what it seems with me.
The reality is the recovery process is different for everyone.
I am still recovering and I know it will be an ongoing process for a long time yet. At times it feels like I never will. It is hard for me to see the future. I am struggling socially. I struggle with transport. I struggle to leave the house.
One thing I was told to do is list one thing you are proud of having done each day even the simples of things like “I went to the shops”. Of course I don’t do it every day, it’s bloody hard, but when you look back at the things you have managed to list you slowly see how far you have come. A few months ago I could not go to the shops without a panic attack, now I can, it does not faze me then you can see actual evidence you are making small steps to recovery.
Just remember little things build up to big things, just as small bricks can build a skyscraper!!