By Katie Sanford: For Complete Post, Click Here…
Recovery from mental illness is complicated. Figuring out what recovery will realistically look like is complicated. The actual process of recovery is complicated. And figuring out how you feel about your recovery can be more complicated than others may think.
My recovery is a lifelong process. Due to the nature of my mental illnesses, some, if not all, will be with me my entire life. What I’m chasing is stability, which, for me, is a state of mind where my thoughts and actions are not heavily influenced by my illnesses. Right now, I’m fighting to break free from severe symptoms of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizoaffective disorder. It might sound a little ridiculous, but at this stage, my recovery is full of mixed emotions. I’m excited, but also terrified.
In the beginning, things looked bleak.
In the last year, every step forward in my treatment ended with me knocked off my feet and stumbling 10 steps backward. Medication changes were making only small differences. I went from doing therapy once a week to twice, and then three times a week. At a certain point, my doctor suggested I consider leaving my job and look into Social Security disability benefits. And as I continued to spiral further downward, my doctor strongly considered hospitalizing me or putting me in an intensive outpatient program.
Fear wrapped around me.
I was afraid of so many things. I feared the unknown — hospitals, outpatient programs and also putting my needs first. The cost of everything had my gut in knots, unsure if I could afford the care I needed. And I was terrified I might lose my job if my ability to function became further impaired. So, my boyfriend and I worked together and came up with a plan that would ease us into reaching a point where I could go on disability benefits without entirely bankrupting us.