by Kate Fitch
I read this article today that talked about how stigma impacts the way we talk about our personal stories. How people often talk about their mental health struggles in the past tense, and rarely mention current struggles in their recovery. We all know that recovery is not a linear process, and that there is a lot of co-existing with symptoms in successful recovery, so why don’t we talk about what’s currently going on?
I think part of it, yes, is stigma. Sometimes people aren’t understanding of the fact that I still have symptoms even in recovery, and jump to the conclusion that I’m “on the edge” or something. But I think another part of it is an effort to make recovery more attractive to those who aren’t there yet. And, honestly, I think that’s unfair. We should be honest about the realities of being in recovery.
Sure, it’s not perfect. But it’s a whole lot better than feeling hopeless and lost, like I did before I recovered. Knowing what to do, where to go, and who to talk to is what defines recovery for me, not absence of symptoms.