Those with treatable mental illnesses often dream of getting to a point when the illness doesn’t control their lives. They want to see sunshine instead of pure darkness. They want an end to their agony, but they often fear it doesn’t exist. It is hard to see past the torture a sick mind puts a person through, but recovery is possible. Some people with mental illness live happy and successful lives. If you want to reach recovery, you must set some goals for yourself. Having goals gives you something to reach for and fight for.
Recovery takes time, but having goals makes the steps obtainable. Here are a few goals you may want to keep in mind in your journey towards recovery. These goals helped me reach recovery.
The goals are:
- Choose someone to confide in about what is going on inside you. This is the most important goal. If you want to get better, you must tell someone you trust that you are struggling. The first person I told was my mom. Because I told her, she went out of her way to help me find help. Find someone you trust and tell him or her what is happening within you he or she can help you find the right path to recovery.
- Find a good therapist you feel comfortable with. Not all therapists are good at their jobs and not all therapists’ personalities matches with yours. The first therapist I had accused me of self-injuring to hurt my family and friends. One therapist told me stories about her life when I told her my problems. She was nice, but I felt she wasn’t helping me. I did find a therapist I could tell my deepest secrets to and who became like a friend. She even came to my wedding. If your therapist gives bad advice or you don’t feel comfortable with him or her keeping looking until you find the right one.
- Find a psychiatrist that is good and knows medications well. Like therapists, there are good and bad psychiatrists. I had one who over medicated me to the point I felt out of it. I also had one who took me off all my medications at once and that sent me into withdrawal. A friend recommended a psychiatrist who knows his medication well. He worked hard at finding the right antidepressant that works for me. When I needed to change medication, he gave me instructions on how to wean off the medicine so I wouldn’t go through withdrawal. Finding the right medication for you is a rough process and can be made harder by a psychiatrist who doesn’t wean you off meds or gives you too much. Finding a good psychiatrist is an important part of the recovery process.
- Get rid of unhealthy relationships. When I decided I wanted to work towards recovery, I realized I had to end negative friendships. So, I ended a friendship with a woman and her sister who saw the bad side to everything. Her sister was the type of person who took advantage of my friend and me. I decided I needed to surround myself with positive people who could give me a healthy and supportive friendship. This also goes for significant others. If your relationship is unhealthy, end it.
- Build a good support system. When I was working towards recovery, I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I needed friends and family who I could talk to when I was at my lowest. My parents stood beside me when at times I put them through a lot. I had a good friend who I could talk to anytime I needed to. Now I have a wonderful husband, my family, and a handful of friends who I can turn to when I need someone to listen to me or to use my blog posts to help me. Choose people you trust who are willing to learn about your illness to be a part of your support system.
- Know your limits and maintain them. I tried to go to college full time while struggling to handle my mental illness. In time I had to admit I was working beyond my limits and I had to take a year off from college. When I did return to college, for my well being I had to go part time. It took me longer, but it was what I could handle with my illness. I work part time because I know that emotionally and with my anxiety working full time is too much for me. When I get over stressed, I start having anxiety attacks and I become very emotional. Knowing your limits and maintaining them will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
- Make it a priority to fight every day to reach the light. I made it my goal to give the journey to recovery all I had in me. I had to dig deep down inside me to fight for recovery. It’s not an easy battle, but if you’re not willing to put all it takes into it, you will fail. I made it my priority to fight each day even when I felt like giving up. I did the homework my therapist gave me, I worked hard on changing my thought process, and I worked on learning to love myself. The fight was and is worth it. I’m in recovery. I still fight, but it has gotten easier. The fight will not be effortless, and you never stop fighting even in recovery, but it is worth it. Make fighting for recovery a part of your daily routine.
Copy these goals or make your own. Use them to help you reach your ultimate goal, recovery. Recovery is possible with a lot of work and with goals to guide you. Your life doesn’t have to be dominated by a sick mind. You can take control of your illness instead of it controlling you. You can find happiness and live a successful life. Recovery is possible.
I set myself goals and I am now laughing and smiling in the light of recovery.