I wanted to talk about something that is really important to me. It’s something that has a larger effect on those who suffer from mental illness and addiction, and I think it’s more common then some would like to admit. I wasn’t really sure where else to begin with today’s post, so I decided to just go for it. If you have any comments, questions or thoughts you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.
In my opinion, part of a successful recovery plan includes surrounding yourself with people who truly support you and believe in you. I’m not talking about the common phrase you may of heard of about “changing people, places, and things”; I’m definitely not referring to that. I am talking about having a support system that truly understands you, that you feel comfortable opening up with….a select few that make it okay to be vulnerable.
Finding those “select few” isn’t something that will happen overnight and quite frankly, it may take you years into your recovery before you have that level of trust with others. Because remember….the only two things that we will be most likely to share are that we suffer from some form of mental illness, and our drug of choice. Other than that, each of our stories will be different and each of our reasons for seeking that form of “relief” will be truly, our own.
I will say that having those few whom I feel most comfortable opening up too, has helped me immensely in times of need. However, I did want to address that sometimes those who you think are your biggest supporters, may end up being the exact opposite. This is something I think is more common than some would like to believe. Mainly because in order to believe this, it would mean you might have to actually accept it as reality. A reality that might be very real for you.
I’m here as a testament to tell you that if you find yourself in this predicament, that it’s okay; and that everything will be okay. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to hurt like hell; and that you won’t be incredibly angry and sad all at once. Furthermore, I can almost guarantee that the mental illness side of things is definitely going to try too mess with you and make you feel like this is your fault. First off, this isn’t your fault….this isn’t anyone’s fault. Not even the individual who you thought was in your corner, but come to find out that that really isn’t the case; not their fault either.
It is completely normal and in fact human nature that when tragedy strikes, to automatically want to find fault and place blame somewhere, on someone. From my personal experience, that won’t help anyone or anything and it definitely won’t make the reality of it all go away. If this happens, the best piece of advice I can offer is to take a few deep breaths, give yourself some time to process what has happened, and then formulate a plan for what to do next.
I can truthfully admit that any time I have acted hastily and not given myself a chance to exist in this new found reality, well….let’s just say it’s never ended in a way I’d hoped it would. However, it has made me a firm believer in the saying/belief that “everything happens for a reason” (although there are still some things that I’ve had happen as well as witnessed happening to those I care most about, and those “things” will never fit into this saying/belief).
At the end of the day, life happens and will continue to happen. There will be things we have total control over, things we have some control over, and then there are those things we have absolutely zero control over. In those circumstances, the only thing we can control is how we will respond. And believe me, I know that is much easier said then done.
Please remember in my very first post when I admitted that I by no means am saying I have the answer for you. I’m also definitely no where near having it all figured out. But I can take my personal life experiences, and use them to help others. I can be relatable and maybe even one of those select few that truly understands what you may be going through. I can be that voice, for those who just don’t think they have the strength to have their own. And most importantly, I can be a living, breathing, 100% real life example that recovery from mental illness as well as addiction, is in fact very possible.
It’s not easy, and there are plenty of times I’ve wanted to just call it quits; but it was in those darkest of moments that I turned to the select few I’ve chosen to surround myself with. To ask for help, understanding, reasoning, wisdom, truth and most importantly love. If you take anything away from this post, let it be that you don’t have to do any of this on your own. That you are definitely not alone by any means, and that you can overcome this….
I KNOW YOU CAN.