The Reality of Recovery

Committing to recovery is hard. There are these expectations around recovering from a mental illness. Many believe that once you consider yourself “recovered,’ it’s easy from there. But that’s wrong. It takes a lot of effort to stay in that place.

Recovery isn’t linear. I think that puts people off recovering because they believe it’s such a daunting and impossible task. When you’re in such a dark headspace, it’s hard not to think it’s impossible to be happy every day. But that’s just not the reality of recovery.

It’s impossible to be happy 100% of the time. Recovery isn’t saying you will never have bad days. Recovery has a different meaning to everyone. For me, recovery is waking up in the morning and my first thought isn’t wanting to hurt myself. Instead, it’s wondering what I had planned for the day. It’s not a big thing, but it’s those small changes that make recovery worthwhile. I still have my bad days, but it’s knowing when you have reached a place you are happy with.

When you have bad days in recovery it can be scary because you don’t want to fall back into that dark place you were previously. But it’s knowing that these days come and go. When those days come, it’s knowing that you have dealt with this before, and you can come through it again.

I have gone through low periods and, while in recovery, there was fear that ‘I’ve been through this before, I would disappoint everyone if I were to need help again.’ Which now, I realise isn’t true. People would appreciate letting them know you are struggling, and if there is no one around you that you feel understands, there are many helplines available and some of the people on the other side have lived experience who truly understand.

This isn’t meant to put anyone off recovery, it’s just letting people be aware of what the reality of recovery is. Knowing how far you have come is a great achievement and you should feel proud that you have come so far. Recovery is the best choice I have ever made, it is challenging, but it is very worth it.


Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to ‘find help’ - it’s not weak to speak!

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