Recovering From Mental Illness Is...Sort of Boring?
So is recovering from a physical injury. But in a different way. You know this and I know this. A broken leg--I've had one--left me in bed and hopping with one foot to the fridge. I was terribly bored. If I could have moved, I would have drawn pictures on the walls. Probably with a black sharpie. I was angry! My point? Recovering from mental illness can be boring---certainly when our lives used to be painted in manic colors--nice and neon but scary too. Sometimes, downright terrifying.
Adjusting to Life After The Diagnosis of Mental Illness
Let's assume that our lives before we were diagnosed with a mental illness were--to say the least--a bit hectic. They may have been painful, and we have certainly have had our fair share of suffering, but recovering from mental illness also involves suffering. It involves a heck of a lot of adjusting. It's sort of like being handed a new life with a map---a map written in script we cannot read.
It's impossible to forget about the past, about our experience with mental illness, but important to embrace our future--even if recovery is a little on the boring side.
Making Recovery From Mental Illness a Little Less Boring
First, let me explain what I mean by "boring"--The word itself is not often attached to mental illness but it's something I feel, often on a daily basis, and I believe others do as well. So, what makes it boring?
I talk a lot about self-care in this blog and rightfully so. Self-care, often focused on proper sleep patterns, a healthy diet, exercise, medication , talk therapy. . .and on and on and, well, on some more. This isn't the stuff that dreams are made of, making sure we sleep enough, but recovering from mental illness is.
Learning About Our Illness
Our 'new life' involving important things like self-care. We suddenly need to see a psychiatrist and be honest with ourselves if we feel we are slipping. We need to be able to learn about our diagnosis, get to know it and understand it's now part of us. Learning about mental illness is not something we really want to do on any given night, but it's something we need to do if we want to sustain recovery.
Before we were diagnosed with a mental illness our lives were probably out of control--at least others viewed them as such. Taking time to become well, to follow steps outlined by our mental health team, family and friends and ourselves, takes some time to adjust to.
It is sort of boring but some of the best things in life are--at least at first. Completing a post-secondary degree, for example. Training to run a marathon. Adapting to a new job. It's part of life. It isn't all fun and it's the tough stuff that makes life interesting.
Jeanne, N. (2012, November 26). Recovering From Mental Illness Is...Sort of Boring?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, May 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2012/11/recovering-from-mental-illness-is-sort-of-boring
Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne
Self-care and self-education are so important in our recovery from any mental illness,but you're right, it can be sort of boring. I think the boring lifts as you get better at understanding what is going on. Religiously taking our meds helps too, you get to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, boring for me, is just a step on the journey to wellness.