I have had a diagnosis of a mental illness since I was 16, although I’m sure I have had mental illnesses way before this time. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 16, I was diagnosed with EUPD at 19, and then an eating disorder at 20. I am now twenty, so my last 4 years have been filled with diagnosis’ and doctor’s appointments.
One of the biggest things you face when you a diagnosis of a mental health issue is recovery. It’s the first thing that gets thrown at you. Let’s have therapy to help your recovery, let’s give you this medication to aid your recovery.
Don’t get me wrong I take medication, and go to therapy but this isn’t to recover, this is to live.
Your friends and family might say ‘Well a diagnosis is the first step to recovery’.
But what if I don’t want to recover?
I don’t want to recover.
The definition of recovery is ‘a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength’. I don’t think I ever had a normal state in which I can return to.
When I was 15 and I started experiencing the deepest depression, I said to a teacher ‘I don’t remember what I was like before I felt like this, how am I ever going to recover?’
Even in the early days I associated recovery with being who I was before.
But I now know that is not realistic and is not what I want.
With the common cold you can recover completely, with a mental illness it can be a lot more difficult than that.
Your experiences during time of mental illness can be traumatising, they can change you forever.
It’s really difficult.
However, I see it like this. My aim is not to recover and be who I used to be, I don’t want to recover that way.
I want to learn to cope with how I am, I want to begin to love who I am now, and I want to continue to develop.
Trying to be who I used to be is not helpful, so I don’t want to recover, I want to grow.