Balance.Recovery, I posted a blog about how I define recovery from mental illness the other day, click here to read or click here to check out all of my posts related to my recovery…
Since posting that blog, I have been faced with the challenge that is balance, something that we all face in many aspects of our lives. As we have to constantly make decisions that ensure we make ourselves happy, in the now and in the future, and decisions that do not hurt those we love and those that exist alongside us in this world. Critical thinking, decision-making, it is something we learn as a child and something we harness as we grow into adults with greater repercussions and consequences on the choices we make.
In this blog post, I am going to discuss my abilities and inabilities to find balance. As my life becomes one of choices, options and greater reality than it has had in the past year.
Recovery is hard, as you re-learn who you are, and what makes you happy, the pain changes you, the fight strengthens you. Learning to balance your life again, becomes your greatest challenge, as for so long, choices have not been a part of your life.
For around a month, maybe two now I have been in an increased state of functioning, with the ability to go out, with the gift of choice, not crippled and constrained by anxiety. As with everything, I have gradually and still am building up a tolerance to triggers and the world, but so much more of the world has returned to my oyster. At first, it was scary, as the past version of myself followed me around as I walked the aisles of Tesco Express, Matalan, and as I walked across fields. As the initial fear and apprehension that the now is simply a dream disappears, and the corner shop aisles return to the mundane parts of living. Then you must seek and succeed in finding balance, you must, I must find my equilibrium within this world.
Now a few things first, in my attempt to find this, I have created a checklist/ a collection of things I must not forget.
Perfect balance exists, but only in science, the world and the people within it are far to complex to ever be perfect. I shall not be happy when I reach a perfect balance, I shall be happy when my balance makes me and the ones I love happy, with the smallest amount of collateral damage.
You can never make everyone happy. I must accept, embrace and learn to manage upsetting people, even for the sake of myself.
Time. It takes time to learn and to find your feet. After a year with little choice, when they are thrust upon you, you shall not know what to do. When to do it. How to cope with it immediately.
Mistakes, wrong decisions, and bad choices happen. Just because I am well, I am in recovery, doesn’t mean I will not have bad days, filled with bad choices, forgiveness is part of any healthy relationship.
I refuse to let my mind be consumed with the idea of perfection ever again. Recovery shall only be successful if your past moulds it yet isn’t carried around your ankle, you are not a slave to your choices. We certainly are moulded by the choices we take and the actions we make, but change is also possible, and change we can change, I can change, I have.
I have made mistakes in my pursuit of balance, but I have also been honest, true and most importantly, I have been trying my best. My mum used to say to me each day as I jumped out of the car for school, ‘work hard’, and I am, and have been working hard. I am forgiving myself for my mistakes and I am applauding myself for each day, no matter what I have faced. When we applaud ourselves for the little things we realise how truly wonderful we are. How completely and utterly desirable and worthy we are. If my mental illness has taught me one thing, it is how enough I have always been and how enough I will always be. Because you have never been and never shall be inadequate.
I have miles to go, I have marathons still to walk, or fight? but for now, I am happy, and I am heading right in the right direction.
Recovery has been slow and then has come all at once, and I am here, here for the journey. I have said it before, and as the cliché goes, I shall say it again, tomorrow shall come.
Today Tomorrow Forever,