‘Broken people can get better if they really want to
Or at least that’s what I have to tell myself if I am hoping to survive.
It’s a long road up to recovery from here,
A long way back to the light’
– Frank Turner, Recovery
Good ol’ Frank Turner; always there to help me start a blog post. What a guy. These lyrics are from Turner’s blinder of a song ‘Recovery’. If you haven’t listened to him before, I’d say stop reading this and get on Youtube or Spotify. But then come back. Please. That would be lovely. Anyway… Turner, a punk-folk raconteur, tends to write about his own experiences, including heartbreak, mental illness and recovery.
There is that ‘R’ word again…
Definition: Recovery – rɪˈkʌv(ə)ri/
a return to a normal state of health mind, or strength.
“signs of recovery in the housing market” *
synonyms: recuperation, convalescene, return to health, process of getting better, rehabilitation, healing, rallying
*that’s a bit of a bad example for what I am talking about. Let’s try ‘Jon made a full recovery from his wounds’ (thank you Game of Thrones)
I hate to state the obvious, but when you are unwell, the goal is to get better, to recover. This counts for all illnesses, from a cold to cancer, from bipolar disorder to bulimia. The majority of people don’t want to live with these things. They want to get better. Simple.
Ah, but it’s not that simple, is it? Oh no Rhetorical Question Rosie, it is not that simple. You don’t suddenly wake up one day, spring forth from bed and announce ‘I am cured, I have recovered from my ailment, I am the epitome of perfect health!’ We haven’t seen miracles like that since Jesus’ time. Recovering is a journey, or as good ol’ Frank Turner puts it, a road. And it is a blimmin’ long road. Regardless of the type of illness, mental or physical, there are so many steps you’ve got to take to get there. There are the doctors, the medications, the examinations, the therapists, the discussion, the acceptance, the learning; all of these steps aid us to getting back to recovery. You are told if you recover, it’s better for you, your friends, your family, your life. Recovery, recovery, recovery, recovery…
Lord, don’t we know this? We know recovery is the best. We know it is great. But it is not that simple. What if you can’t see the end of that long road? What if you can’t see yourself getting better? (The rhetorical questions are plentiful today). All anyone talks about is getting better (which is not a problem). We do need to talk about it otherwise it won’t happen. We need to talk about recovery.
But, it isn’t the only important thing. Without the long road, without the survival, without the coping, we would never recover. I’ll be honest, I cannot envisage recovering from my mental illness anytime soon. I can’t see recovery in my future. I can’t see a time when I will be off my meds. Being ill is tiring and painful and expensive, and then you get the symptoms and side effects. I want to recover. I really, really do. I just can’t see it. But I am surviving. I am coping with it. I am living. Isn’t that enough for now?
Let’s talk about the long road.
Let’s celebrate the fact that there are people out there surviving.
Let’s celebrate the fact that there are people out there who are coping every day.
Let’s celebrate that people are living and still not recovered.
Here’s to those who think they’ll never get off medication.
Here’s to those who suffer depression who can’t see the light.
Here’s to those who suffer anxiety and can’t imagine a day without feeling clouded.
Here’s to those with eating disorders who cannot see a future of wellness.
Here’s to those with PTSD who relive it every day.
Here’s to those who can’t forgive and can’t forget.
Here’s to those who are ill or confused or nervous or damaged or hurt.
Here’s to those who have gone down that hard road and come out of the end shining.
You are coping. You are surviving. You are living.
And that is bloody fantastic.
Your survival deserves to be celebrated. You are on the road to recovery, you are just not there yet, and that’s just fine.
Let me know what your thoughts are on recovering from illness and how you cope. I love to know what you all think.
Thanks for reading!
PS These are all just my opinions. Apart from the definition of ‘recovery’. I got that from a dictionary because I am a student and I know the important of referencing. Thanks Merriam-Webster.
(Originally posted on June 23rd 2016 @ https://rosiealou.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/that-eight-letter-word/)