The trick...

"The trick, William Potter, Is not minding that it hurts!"

When I heard that quote through the haze of bipolar depression, I wondered if I had stumbled across a vital clue in my recovery. I realised my understanding of recovery and what it meant to my own mental health was flawed. I watched all the uplifting documentaries, I read all the hopeful stories and was so certain that if I kept striving for the same level of perceived happiness,I would fully recover and never have to dance with my demons again.

Laying on the couch in days old pjs, with the sense of failure looming over me and squeezing every last ounce of energy out of me - I had an epiphany. Recovery is a fluid concept, it is an individual concept and as cliche as it sounds no two persons will ever have the same recovery. Recovery is not linear and it is not fast. Recovery does not mean that you will never have a bad day or week again. Recovery is little steps taken day by day and just maybe they'll start to add up to the beginning of your recovery. You may only have two or three good days in a bad week but they should still be counted. You are allowed to have bad days during recovery. Give yourself permission to have a backwards slide now and again, but do not stop taking those little steps.

When I am struggling with myself and feeling like a let down of a human being because I am not working yet or haven't accomplished every on my 'to do' list for the day, I stop and remember that it is OK to not succeed every time. Because the trick, my friend, is not minding that it hurts.

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