What does recovery mean to you?
I recently had a conversation about recovery with my therapist. I asked her what that meant, because I feel like I’m striving for this unidentified, unquantifiable, invisible and all around “squishy” goal. What does it mean? How do I get there? How do I know I’ve gotten there? She explained that recovery isn’t a place or a time or a feeling. I will forever be “in recovery” because there is no cure. OCD will continue to reside inside my head for the remainder of my life. Recovery will be whether or not I let it come out and play. She said that relapse is always a concern and that I will forever have bad days. What counts is the space between those bad days. Recovery isn’t a place, it’s a constant. Just like an alcoholic is forever an alcoholic, they’re just a recovering alcoholic. I will forever be fighting my own demons in my head. Now, I know that sounds depressing, but here’s the interesting part. I’m a perfectionist, it’s a manifestation of my OCD, and I will never be rid of this, never be healed, and never be perfect. OCD has been making me strive for the very thing that it makes unavailable, and I find that quite ridiculous and rather funny. So all of that to say this:
Recovery is taking life one day at a time, remembering to always fight against the Monster, vowing to never give up or to at least try again tomorrow. Recovery is stumbling then standing, enjoying the twists and turns and sometimes bumps in the road. Recovery is having more good days than bad days, and forgetting what the bad days feel like anyway. Recovery is remembering that it’s okay to fail, as long as you try again. Recovery is doing your best, even when you feel your worst. Recovery is never giving up. Ever.
And with that, I’ll leave you with 3 of my favorite quotes from the brilliant Sir Winston Churchill and one from my favorite US President FDR:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“If you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
“Never, never, never give up.”