Everything we do we do to the best of our ability given what we have available to us in that given moment. Recovery is not about a destination, it’s a journey–there will be good days and harder days, good moments and darker ones, and we do our best to get through the darker ones so that we get to see the rainbows, unicorns and sunlight again. Because they *will* come. Whether it’s in minutes, hours, days or months away–they always come.
Recovery is essentially about progress, not perfection. We are flawed and imperfect human beings. Those of us, who choose recovery, choose to take the path of wellness and healthier behaviors every chance we get, no matter how exhausted we may feel. And we will feel exhausted some days. We will slip up. Sometimes we will fall back into old behaviors. Recovery is a continuous choice over the duration of multiple events to choose a healthier action over an unhealthy one. And if recovery is about progress and not perfection, then it’s time to give ourselves credit for everything we do right.
I, for one, have been able to keep myself stable for eight months and counting. It’s not that I’ve been pain-free for that duration of time but that despite the challenges I’ve been able to stay as safe as I can. I’ve been eight months without the hospital. Eight months without scratching and a few hours from scalp picking and hair pulling. Only once did I lapse in self-harm back in June, and I promptly told my treatment coordinator about it at program and handed over the method I used to my parents. In all of those eight months, I’ve had near crises and actual crises that I’ve handled.
And although I went a year and a half away from the Counseling Center and a year without calling hotlines, that doesn’t mean it was always the best thing for me or the healthiest decision.
Because getting help when I need it should never be seen as a weakness, rather an immense strength. Because needing help, more help than what I can feasibly manage on my own, is not a source of failure but of success. To recognize that I can’t, and don’t have to, go through something alone is so absolutely amazing.
So, when I found myself struggling with burnout in the first week of October, I recognized while filling out my DBT-Intensive homework that I needed to put down my pride, a difficult task, to call a hotline, because I needed more support than what I could muster by myself.
And I tried one, and the wait was a little long so I tried another. And another, and another, and unfortunately, I blossomed into a full-blown crisis. A crisis so severe, something I haven’t had in a very, very long time, that I didn’t know how to handle it on my own.
So, I didn’t.
I got extra help by crying my way over to one of those blue Public Safety columns and pushing the red button. You see, I knew I needed to get myself to the Counseling Center on campus, but I wasn’t certain I could get there by myself, safely enough. And maybe that was because of all the OCD intrusive images of harm and death, the catastrophizing of the future and consequences that would meet me if I acted on the thoughts (I had an exam the week after that I couldn’t miss), the ‘trauma’ of previous hospital stays and having to walk back through those Counseling Center doors. It was a lot…a *lot*.
So I pushed the button because I felt that I needed to. And to put this into perspective–three years ago I would never have considered an active suicidal plan and method available to me as an emergency. A year ago, I only ever imagined pushing the button as I was actively suicidal with a method available.
While in hindsight I may have done things differently, it ultimately got me safely where I needed to be: on emergency in the Counseling Center. I got to challenge thoughts about feeling like a failure for needing help by writing this article dedicated to remembering that the messages I represent in my articles apply to my own experiences, too, and that I do genuinely believe in those messages.
I also learned about giving myself more credit for my accomplishments. I learned more about self-care, I learned more grounding techniques, challenging myself to look on the bright side, mindfulness and paying attention to my positive triggers, what situations bring me joy and happiness and how can I incorporate more of these into my daily life (positive psychology principles).
It wasn’t wrong; it was what I thought I needed at the time. And I survived, and survived well.
Article written: October 10.2018
PD A/N: Heyyyy guys!! Still trudging through updating you all on here about my latest articles! Today I made a new thumbnail for articles (as you saw earlier) so let me know what you think of it!! Additionally, for audio purposes, I made a list of almost all my articles through the years as I’ve going to write a commentary piece to them before I graduate! So, that’s neat!
I made the newer thumbnail to toggle back and forth on Twitter as most of my articles these days don’t include my photography, so, that’s a thing! Any who, I’m going to schedule some upcoming posts now. 🙂
How are you guys doing??
Stay safe! ❤ ❤ ❤
Also, since writing this article I’ve had chances to celebrate my wins and I’m doing a lot better with that in my life overall. 🙂