I reflect on my life often. That reflection includes the dark days, and even this past weekend. My life is at times one big picture, and at other times, it is a simple moment in time.
I recently presented at the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia’s Annual Conference. The theme was Thriving in Recovery. In preparing, I thought about all the aspects of life that contributed to my recovery. I actually do consider myself to be recovered. The notion of recovery from mental illness ought to be discussed more to enable the community at large to understand . It wasn’t that long ago that even mental health advocacy groups didn’t fully recognize recovery as possible. More about this in another blog!
Getting back to hope! Many days I was lost. The impact of depression so intense that I thought life was not worth living. I had lost my health, my career was gone. I had a mental breakdown.
For me to even intellectually understand and rationalize that in the span of 5 days, I had gone from practising law at a high level to having a breakdown was difficult. It took months to grasp all of the circumstances.
How did I get healthy? One major factor was hope. Many days I had no hope, but my family did. They told me that life would get better, that I would get well. So as my mind roamed through darkness, I believed my family. Their hope for me was enough some days to sustain my own wanting to get healthy.
Slowly, I came to regain my own sense of hope. I needed to see actual things or events unfold to say to myself, ” I will get better”. I learned I could read a book again. I could watch a movie. I was starting to see joy return to my life. Thus my hope increased too.
For lengthy periods, hope was all I had. I would spend weeks in bed, unable to function beyond my bedroom. But I hoped for more in my life.
My family – they were correct. My life has gotten better. Like never before. I have a few posts on my site about my current life, and how excited I am now about living.
Please don’t lose hope.