I’ve recently had someone ask me why I would share my raw and sometimes potentially triggering feelings regarding my mental illnesses on a blog dedicated to recovery and ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. The answer is quite simple: I want to be honest.
Recovery is not easy, its not a perfect process, and its not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. A common misconception is that when you are recovering you are getting healthier and you don’t have to face the same struggles as you were facing before. But that’s just not the case. On the contrary you have to face these struggles head-on whereas before you could ignore them and continue with your self-destructive eating disorder, self-harm, etc.
Its true that I could come onto my blog and only write about the positives, but I think it is important for people to realize that recovering from a mental illness is not easy. If I restricted my content to only blogging about the good days, then I would be potentially misleading someone else into thinking that they are failing at their recovery because they are having so many bad days. I want my blog to be raw and honest because I want people to know that they are not alone in their struggles. I want people who are suffering to know that everyone has their ups and downs, but I also want the family and friends of people who have mental illnesses to understand that recovery from mental illness is not easy.
I think it is important to talk about the reality of recovery in order to end the stigmatization. So many people think that you can recover from an eating disorder if you “just eat”. They think you can get over depression if you just “stop wallowing in self-pity”. They think that self-harm recovery is as easy as just throwing away the blades. But this isn’t reality. This isn’t what recovery is like.
I want people to see me thriving in my recovery process, but I also want people to know that I have my bad days as well. How can we ever hope to end the misconceptions involving recovery if we are not open and honest about our struggles?
I believe that the people who think that I should not talk about the bad parts of my recovery are the people who stigmatize my illness. These people do not want me to talk about my struggles because they do not believe that I am trying hard enough to get better. After all, you can get over mental illness if you just try harder, right? WRONG.
I’m here to spread awareness about what recovery really looks like, not what the “ideal” recovery looks like. There’s a big difference.