What Helped My Recovery?
Here is my checklist of everything that helped me throughout my stages of recovery:
- Talking about my challenges.
- Having a strong support network.
- Understanding and patience from others.
- Setting small, measurable and achievable targets.
- Taking it day by day, moment by moment.
- Introducing activities I enjoyed, not just daily tasks.
- Social activity.
- Saying ‘No’ if things felt too much.
- Allowing myself time to do nothing if my body felt that way.
- Accepting bad days and not beating myself up.
- Learning from every challenge e.g. managing irritability by taking myself to my ‘safe’ place straight away and putting music or the TV on to distract myself.
- Stopping comparing myself to others. Your recovery is your own.
- Surrounding myself with little things that make me smile.
- Eating a balanced diet and eating regularly.
- Exercising to the best of my ability, which may be nothing to begin with to walking around the garden or in my case, playing with my niece.
- Focusing on the task in hand; the rest of the day will develop. If I thought of the whole day I would stay in bed but if I thought only of my shower I often found afterwards I was motivated to do other things.
My Recovery Now
I am three weeks out of hospital and currently on respite. I’ve probably cried more out of hospital because I’m now able to reflect on what has happened over the last three months and in all honesty, it’s been traumatic. I have relapsed a number of times over the last seven years but I try not to be scared. It is a process and we must allow ourselves and our bodies time to rest.
A few days ago I made an ‘emergency’ phone call to my family and they talked me through my worried, impulsive thoughts. I did my deep breathing and listened to reassurance telling me I would get through it. And I did.
I also took my own advice not to bully myself the next day. If it was a snakes and ladders game I slipped down the snake that night, but I am now back up the ladder and focusing on relaxing. Recovery is to know your own limits and I’m doing my best to start living my life with meaning once again. I am back to my writing, socializing with friends and taking it slowly. If I relapse again I will face it but for now, I’m OK, and that is what is most important to my recovery.