I left a comment on a mental health-reated Instagram post
by Chevy Rough earlier today, but, as might be expected I’ve been ruminating on it quite a bit this afternoon. I feel like a longer response, as part of the conversation Chevy hoped to start, is necessary.
I haven’t yet read the article to which Chevy referred but it covers the lack of research into genuine recovery from depression. I am sure some, good research does exist but there is little focus on this. I should spend some time identifying it so I know.
Chevy put forth an opinion: that some people don’t like to discuss the possibility of recovery success and there might be a backlash from those that still struggle with their own mental health when others are successfully and positively navigating their way to a better personal outcome for themselves.
Is it that there’s some kind of expectation that there’s no exit from this most shitty of clubs?
It was also suggested in a comment that it’s impossible to make a complete recovery from depression.
My thoughts here:
This may not be a view that many will like, or will share, but, I think there’s a choice and a definite mindset decision that sufferers make. Its a view I’ve come to after time spent in several support groups and in inpatient care. Do you view depression as something to be lived within as comfortatably as possible, attaching the label to yourself, or do you use your experience with episodes of extreme low mood or depression to shape how you will, or intend to be. I have spent a good amount of time in the former.
Despite that, having now worked fairly diligently for a while now I can conclusively say that even though the latter is much harder work, it is far more rewarding.
Loved ones, my wife-to-be especially, have had to deal with the bad times and they will always monitor my mood and behaviours for the warning signs, always worrying that I might relapse. It isn’t something either of us can, or should forget about. This complicates the recovery process and leaves a little of the label behind but I know this is only done because of love.
So sure, I know it might not be something I will ever be free from but it’s certainly not an end state I would be happy occupying for an extended period. I hope that this might be something I share with others.
I have a history of depression brought about by what can be chronic and debilitating anxiety. I have been publicly frank about how close I have been to suicide and about my admission to a mental health unit. Those experiences are now part of me and always will be but I choose to use them to shape my future path in a positive direction.
I have to work hard to manage my mental state but that hard work is a genuinely rewarding process. An ongoing and very likely an always incomplete recovery process.
I trust in that process.
I trust in my own process.
My history of poor mental health does not define me and I will not let it.
Recovery, an exit from shit club if you will, is certainly possible. After all, this is what this blog was named for.