Choosing Recovery

Recovering from severe depression and anxiety was an active choice that I made because I did not want to live my life like that. You can’t wake up one morning and be cured; you need to work hard to get over your illness. Recovery might seem impossible, but it’s not, you’ll get there. And yes, sometimes I do get frustrated and lose motivation but I remind myself that I need to keep going and I look back at all of the progress I’ve made to give me faith in myself.

When you commit to recovery, you need to gather up all your strength and motivation because you’re going to need it. You need to try anything that could help you to feel better and you need to do this for a significant period of time, to give it a chance to work. When you choose to recover it’s not a flippant decision – everyday you need to recommit to recovering until you are there; you will get there.

There are so many different ways to fight depression and anxiety and not everything will work for you. Some people might swear that going vegan is the cure or that exercising prevents panic attacks and it might be for them – but everyone is different. So whilst your friend’s cousin deals with her depression through spin class, you need to find what works for you and to do this you need to try everything. You need to try new things no matter how convinced you are that they won’t be of any benefit.

Try a half an hour walk, in nature, everyday for at least a month! See if it helps! There’s no harm in trying.

When I was recovering I tried everything and while these things didn’t cure me, they helped me figure out what really benefited me. In addition, putting effort into making myself feel better made me feel productive and boosted my mood.

A few weeks ago, I read an article that made a lasting impression on me; it talked about how there are two types of people with depression. One type was those who were suffering from depression, and would likely struggle with it all their life, and the other type were those that would recover. This article suggested that if you are determined to recover and actively try to seek help, that you will be successful. At first I was dubious but after reflecting it made sense – if you don’t make any changes to your life then nothing changes.

I understand that depression and anxiety may always be a part of me from now on, but I have recovered to such an extent that I finally have my life back and that’s the goal for everyone. I felt hopeless and now I am so proud of the hard work and dedication I have put in to get better. Everyone has their own struggles and this is mine, and recently, for the first time, I have thought positively about the future and that I will be able to live a happy, normal life.

My recovery began after two or three weeks spent in my house whilst I was very physically ill due to my mental state. Every day I challenged myself, pushing myself further and further until everything felt normal again (well most things). I took myself out of my comfort zone everyday; even if it was only baby steps it was still progress. I never expected to have set backs, I thought recovery would be linear so when I couldn’t do things I did the week before I became so unmotivated and disappointed. It’s so important to keep in mind that set backs are part of the process so that you don’t assign too much meaning to them.

This is my favourite diagram -it represents recovery in a way words can’t describe.

I would like to reiterate that to recover, you have to try everyday. I would be physically ill every time I went to uni for a few weeks and then I broke through the anxiety surrounding lecture halls or crowded classrooms. It would have been so much easier to stay at home to avoid making myself ill, but if I had done that I wouldn’t be where I am today. Although you might be really struggling, you won’t feel any better if you don’t make any progress and I understand how daunting it is to face your fears but it is essential. Getting over my anxiety towards certain situations was such a cathartic process and everyone is capable of this – you just need to challenge yourself.

Make the choice to recover to change yourself from solely surviving to living a wonderful life, as it is possible. Waking up in the morning with the goal of making it through the day was not how I wanted to spend my life – so I changed my how I was living. If you want to recover you will, choose life.





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