recovery necklace

So at my very worst period of mental illness things were pretty freaking awful. I was dealing with psychosis, near constant panic attacks, what they called “severe bipolar 1” plus some sort of unidentified personality disorder. Basically, things were really really bad and had been for a long time. But here are some of the things that helped me when I was dealing with a 2 month psych hospitalization that summer 

  • Noticing the color of the sky 
  • Nice scented lotion 
  • Taking long showers 
  • Making sure that I was hydrated & well nourished
  • Taking deep breaths 
  • Playing guitar 
  • Keeping my living space neat
  • Putting on nicer clothes & doing my hair 
  • Journaling 
  • Exercise 

Honestly I was able to recover precisely because I started paying attention to moments like these. At the time I was still pretty miserable, but it was a major break through to realize I could appreciate the colors of the sky & grass, or the sound of rain, or the cozy feeling of a bookshop. It’s hard to articulate how much it changed things for me. 

Of course, I had a lot of other support too, and I’m not trying to say this alone cured me. I also know that stuff that worked for me in recovery didn’t work for my peers in treatment and vice versa. But I do beg you not to dismiss stuff like this that’s offered without judgement, like in self care posts. For one - you don’t know what the OP has been through & there is no reason to invalidate them or mentally people who do stuff like this –  You just can’t correlate the severity of symptoms to what kind of things help. 

And two - it’s not good to spread the idea that enjoying little moments, or doing common self care this is only for non mentally ill people. In fact, we are often the ones who can benefit the most. And it’s a shame to spread the idea that none of these things can work for any mentally ill person when that’s just not true & could prevent someone from doing something that could help. Treating severe mental illness is a big problem, but it’s often made up of lots of little changes