here is something I’ve learned:
the hard things are never not going to be hard.
I’ve been carrying around this misconception that “recovery” meant “everything is going to be easy now.” That if I did the right things, I wouldn’t struggle anymore. Where struggle and hardship mean that I’m doing something wrong.
This is a horrible, life-ruining myth.
HARD THINGS WILL ALWAYS BE HARD.
Recovery is committing yourself to being the best you can be every day. Finding healthy coping skills that work for you so that when the hard things happen, you have the tools to deal with them. It’s okay if you aren’t the best prepared, if you slip back into unhealthy coping mechanisms in the face of a hard day or a dark night, but learn from that. Know that one relapse or one mistake or one weak moment does not invalidate the entire recovery process. Recovery is a mindset, not an accomplishment.
Recovery involves taking a good long look at why you think the way you think- because our perception of the world and ourselves is a result of everything that has happened to us, and some of the things we subconsciously accept as true about ourselves and the world ARE NOT TRUE. Oftentimes, we have to relearn attitudes, and that requires acknowledging why you think the way you do. That kind of self-reflection can be incredibly uncomfortable, but you deserve to know why you believe the things you believe. You’re worth it. You deserve life and love and friendship and happiness. You don’t have to do anything to deserve those things.
Different things work for different people, but counseling has really helped me. You will definitely need other people in this process, because in order to heal, you’re going to have to let other people carry some of the burdens you’ve shouldered your entire life. Some of those burdens are heavier than others, and counselors are trained to unpack those things with us, versus a best friend or significant other or a stranger on the bus who might not know what to do with those things, even if they love you and mean well. They can be there to remind you of the things you learn, help you process, be a sounding board, be supportive, but they aren’t professionals.
the hard things will never not be hard, but they get easier.
Recovery is possible, and you’re worth it. Recovery is possible, and I’m worth it- and that’s always harder for me to say. I need these reminders as much as anyone else, because sometimes when things get dark, I can’t see them and I forget to look for them. So let’s all be gentle with ourselves.