We can’t approach our recovery from depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, or eating disorders from an all-or-nothing perspective.
Recovery doesn’t work that way, because nothing in LIFE works that way.
We gotta be flexible. We need to be prepared to improvise.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had the experience of trying YOUR VERY BEST to do the stuff you need to do to stay stable and make progress— but the day and unexpected stressors and your symptoms and your physical pain gang up on you to kick your ass.
Our emotional and behavioral struggles have a way of doing that— coming out of nowhere, when we least expect them, to wallop us.
What that DOESN’T mean is that you’re doing recovery wrong.
It DOESN’T mean that you’re back at Square One— though it might FEEL that way.
All it means is what it means— you had a hard day. Maybe you lost some ground.
We can’t think in black and white terms about it.
A hard day isn’t a total defeat. The truth is, even on hard days, we usually have little victories.
A good day isn’t a total victory, for that matter. We can have good days that have hard moments or rough patches.
Something unexpected that I learned along the way was that I NEEDED to approach my own recovery with a LOT of flexibility. I had to roll with bad days. Improvisation— and even humor, sometimes in my darkest moments— saved my skin more than once.
Maybe you’re not doing great today. That doesn’t mean the game’s over.
Maybe you’ve made some boneheaded decisions today. I am the KING of boneheaded decisions— and it’s usually not the end of the world.
Sometimes our recovery journey’s going to be dramatic. Sometimes it’s going to be boring, and involve a lot of skills and tools that aren’t particularly profound or sexy.
You’re GONNA have days when recovery feels COMPLETELY manageable— and you’re GONNA have days when it feels COMPLETELY beyond you.
Easy does it. That’s normal.
The fact that you’re here, reading this, represents a victory. You’ve made it this far. You’re still in the game.
That’s not nothing.
When you find something that works, awesome: put it in your coping toolbox.
Just remember that nothing’s a magic bullet.
You WILL have days when the skills and tools that got you this far, won’t seem to work AT ALL.
That’s normal, too.
Different days bring different triggers, stressors, and challenges. They require different skills and tools to navigate.
You just focus on managing today.
We don’t know how the rest of your recovery and the rest of your life are going to go. Your symptoms could disappear tomorrow; or they could get a hundred times worse tomorrow.
We just don’t know. We can’t tell the future.
What we do know is what’s on our plate today.
That’s what we need to manage today.
That’s what we need to adapt to, today.
Tomorrow will be here soon enough.
Don’t get up in your head; don’t think in all or nothing terms; don’t try to live the next ten years or relive the last ten years all at once.
Just focus on today, today.
I believe in you.