Recovery from mental illness isn’t straightforward, it does not have one concrete outcome. Recovery success must be measured in reasonable, sustainable ways.
If you toss a pebble in the river, or a leaf drops on a still pond, the ripples take on a life of their own. Those ripples are unique not themselvees, and are dynamic energy outome of your effort in the beginning.
So it is when we put our efort into geting out from under a heavy depression, or to calm and get centered in waves of anxiety, or manage the present moment when other symptoms try to detour our hearts and minds.
Measure the ripples of your efforts and the positive ways they alter the course of future events. These, only you can identify, determine and value.
And they must be valued.
Okay, so you didn’t conquer the entire illness in one day, you didn’t slay the whole dragon, or overcome the entire menu of symptoms.
But, did you do something that caused something that enabled something good to happen, or open another door, or influence someone else’s day for the better?
In recovery, you must be your own best friend, your best ally, your best coach. That means to focus on the ripples that you effected by giving another go at your goals. Focus on maintaining the traction you build up. Just don’t go backwards. Save the momentum.
Ask yourself, “What’s here that wouldn’t have been here if I hadn’t even tried?”
“What’s different about this afternoon than this morning?”
“What’s better now than last week, because of my effort?”
That’s really significant, and if you remember to rest and celebrate those small victories, soon you will have a large portfolio of factual reminders that you are competent and skilled and a determined worker in your recovery success.
——————————————————Heidi D. Hansen, M.A. is a Mental Health Advocate with 30 years of clinical experience, education and training in mental health. To schedule a consultation or order a mental health art-literature product, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can make payments via the Paypal button here.