A note on “recovery”

I feel like my mental health recovery has plateaued. I was acutely unwell and in hospital at easter for 7 weeks and before I could fully recover from that I become unwell again just 3/4 months ago (but avoided hospitalisation). Afterwards I fell like a shell of my former self. My mind kept going blank, I couldn’t concentrate, I was apathetic, I was isolating and wasn’t enjoying anything. This is when the referral was made to the inpatient rehabilitation ward.

Then I started making little strides; I could concentrate on a tv program if we cut it into 5 parts, I enjoyed a McDonalds meal (not recommended for other people who also have high cholesterol, oops), I started to worry about university (showing my apathy wasn’t all consuming). I expected to make further strides, to be able to read again, to watch a film, to go out and know what to say in social situations…but it didn’t come. In fact, the most impressive thing I’ve managed to do is this blog, which I’m very pleased with.

I t feels like I’m on a straight line instead of heading up and progressing. Then I remembered what my care coordinator had said to me recovery isn’t linear. There are ups and downs, dips and rises, plateaus and sometimes you might even feel you’re going backwards. That’s okay. It’s ok to feel down sometimes or to feel like progress has stopped. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to get better, that you won’t recover.

So I’m trying to tell myself it’s fine if I’m plateauing, in fact it’s normal and expected. I’m still recovering, and if it takes a while, that’s okay.

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