I never really appreciated just how terrifying it can be to recover from mental illness.
There was a sense of safety whilst I was trapped in the midst of depression, it’s hard to explain but whilst I was clinically depressed and dosed up on handfuls of drugs I knew what to expect. I knew that my emotions were non existent, I didn’t have to worry about having the right response to a situation because I just didn’t have any response, there was a relief to the numbness.
Whilst recovery brings with it a whole heap of positives and expectations it also creates some rather terrifying realisations. Having to relearn who I am after more than 7 years of numbness is difficult, more so than you’d think. The world and everyone in it has moved on, whilst I was stuck, now that I’m starting to emerge from depression I realise that I no longer know who I am.
I need to figure out what are natural responses and reactions to situations. At the back of every reaction is the fear than I’m having the wrong response, perhaps my sadness is me slipping back in to depression, maybe losing my temper is a sign I’m not getting better or maybe I’m too happy too soon and I’m being manic.
I never realised just how scary ‘getting better’ could be.
Recovery is something I’ve been chasing for years, I’ve had teasing glimpses of what being a happy parent and partner could be, how much better my life could be, and now that I’m on the cusp of it….I’m terrified of fucking it up.
No one tells you how to cope with getting better.
I’ve had my allocation of therapists, counsellors and other medical professionals and now I find myself alone, during what is perhaps the most important stage of depression, trying to navigate what is unchartered territory.
I’m optimistically lost.
I hope I’m strong enough, that I’m determined and stubborn enough to push through the doubts, blips and second guesses that will eventually lead me to an existence in which I’m content, secure in who I am, a parent I can be proud of and partner worthy of sticking with.
Living with depression is hell, the tantalising possibility of recovery….that, that is terrifying.