How do you know you arrived at recovery if another set back occurs? Who sets the standard of recovery?
I recently started following Voices of Glass, BoldKevin writes this post.
I caught the end of his 30 day mental illness awareness challenge. His posts are awesome. His words hit right at the heart of what I am feeling. 6 months ago I decided that 10 years of counseling was enough to get me down the road of recovery that I could keep going myself. I no longer agree with that decision. I don’t feel I failed to recover. I didn’t stop seeing my oncologist and until I was symptom free from cancer for several years. It was his suggestion that I no longer needed to see him. However, every year I am tested for cancer. I am recovered from cancer but I keep an eye on what my body is up to. I am functioning emotionally better than I ever have been. I am happier. My marriage is better. My health is better. Yet, I am looking for a new counselor. I don’t believe it is because I feel I am hopeless. I have seen what it is like to sleep 7 hours a night, feel rested, feel joy on a regular basis, and feeling that slip a way is alarming. I am worried that self neglect will take me down a path I have been before. I recognize the symptoms of increasing anxiety. When I see symptoms again that were gone for awhile, I realize that my road to recovery needs some attention. For me, I know counseling works. Talking to a stranger that isn’t all mixed up with my life is a relief for me. I am not my diagnosis but my diagnosis gives clues for possible routes to recovery. This is the amazing thing about humans. Just as we don’t all respond the same to trauma, our image of recovery is also unique. To me, recovery includes thriving, enjoying others, reaching out, exploring life, and the list goes on and on. Survival mode does not encourage these behaviors. Recovery does. When I was first asked what I wanted my future to look like, I had no idea what possibilities existed. I like the progress I made in my recovery. I am looking for a counselor willing to team up with me to continue that process. I am not giving up, I am recognizing that a professional on my team helps me toward the recovery I hope for….8 hours of sleep at night seems blissful. I don’t think recovery is a land of ease. I believe challenges continue. It is how I handle those challenges that I believe represent recovery.