The Recovery Truth

I didn’t realise my last post came across so negatively!

I don’t feel negative. As Judith said, the, “Normal” life is one to embrace. There are sacrifices though, and those, I feel acutely sometimes. And with this clarity, of being mostly sane, you get a view of the years past, and it can be a pretty horrific one. I don’t like going out these days, I don’t like drinking, because I store up all my emotions and unneeded apologies for those times and then come back regretful. It’s difficult, letting go of those years, and of who you were. One of my friends told me, a month or so ago, “You used to be fun”. Ouch.

That said, I like my life now. I like myself a hell of a lot better. I’m more in control of myself, and I’m more stable. Normal! I am lonely, though, as I said. I’m not sure how to make friends. I feel new and tainted at the same time. It’s disconcerting and sometimes, it makes me very sad. I can’t deny that. The sadness is there, especially on nights like this, especially when I come home and realise I only have Robert to talk to about my course, and he doesn’t understand.

I wholeheartedly believe in recovery from mental illness. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be studying to be a mental health nurse. That in itself is odd, though. In being a mental health activist, my currency has been my own experience. Now, in the shift to professional, I can’t (and don’t really want to) share my experiences. But this is good. It makes me realise I got into this for the right reason. I am not settling scores or trying to be, “special”. It’s given me a huge appreciation for what my social workers, psychiatrists and nurses did. And I am in it for: wanting to help, understanding, not being someone who becomes freaked out by mental health problems and, above all else, interest. It interests me, it fascinates me.

I think I am as recovered as I will ever be. I have my moments like everybody. But I’ve managed to distance myself a fair bit from my problems. I don’t listen in class and automatically associate all experiences with myself, which I think is healthy. (In thinking
about psychosis lately I remembered my own experiences with it. One thing the class is doing is making me remember, which is partially where my sadness and reflectiveness have come from. I do associate the experiences of a service user- of the isolation, loneliness, the feeling different and the loss, all feelings I had denied in myself, and the grief I had over the years which were by sided by what I was going through- those things are coming to the surface. I keep thinking my dad is not going to be a grandad).

It is an aside though, and I think for the most part I deal with things in a sane way. But with being fairly clear and stable, you do remember. And that can be a bit arse. But I’m looking forward, for the most part. Instead of talking ALL THE TIME about my mental problems, I talk about other things. And the big things- the big, panic inducing things- like having kids (and the big, panic inducing things of, “Oh god, please don’t get ill while pregnant!”) Forward, though.

Anyway, I wasn’t trying to be negative, just in case it came across like that!

2 Responses

  1. Seaneen I think you are on an amazing journey. I have watched as you struggled hard and long with mental illness, watched you live the most amazing moments despite and because of it, watched you start to recover and then recover fully. It must be so damn hard to start again from scratch and yet, you’ve done it. You are now studying and sacrificing so you can be of help to others in places you have been yourself and you can still both articulate your professionalism and live it. My gods, girl, my hat is off to you. I adore you anyway but I admire your socks off too.

  2. I think it is normal to experience grief over the tragedies and losses we get with these illnesses, and it seem like you feel you were too negative for expressing those feelings, but I don’t think you were. I am still new to your blog, but I like it and have added it to the blogroll on my blog at http://www.suicidalnomore.com. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

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