Being In Recovery Isn’t Black and White

 Worth Living Ambassador Delicia Raveenthrarajan

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Delicia is a performing arts student who also takes on the world with her passion in spoken word, motivational speaking, song writing, the arts, musical theatre, and changing the world with strength and kindness. She has become who she is by volunteering, speaking and life changing travels. Delicia simply  states her journey so far: Canada Born. Kenya Bound. Arizona Built. Amazon Braving. Strength Embracing.

I live with major depressive disorder, I am on medication and I continue to seek treatment regularly in order to take care of myself. So, I guess that means I’m in recovery.

Sometimes I feel hypocritical because I work as a speaker in order to share my story with others and give them hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. Because of the disorder I live with and the ways in which it affects me, a depressive episode can choose to crash in my brain without ringing the doorbell or paying rent. I’ve accepted the fact that being in treatment is not a short term contract because neither is my illness.

So I’ve come to this conclusion:

It doesn’t get better. YOU get better. YOU get stronger.

I’ve also come to this conclusion:

Having a depressive episode is out of my control. Who on earth would choose to be depressed? Who would want to feel pain, so great, fear so deep, and emptiness so constantly?

AND this:

STOP TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE TO BE BETTER. I felt pressure after I got a bit better, unlike any other to feel better, to feel happier, to feel stronger. In reality, that wasn’t the case. Without realising it, I was feeding a monster. I was feeding my illness. I was forcing myself to feel certain things. I was forcing myself not to feel. And that in itself landed me back at square one.

I live in fear. I have a bad day…and I can deal with it better than ever before. I have a few bad days in a row and panic sets in. Because I have felt such darkness in my life that the very thought of returning to that place causes tears to run down my face. The thought of spending every Tuesday at the clinic for treatment instead of spending it with friends or doing what I love scares me. The thought of spending days in bed without the desire for anyone or anything scares me. The thought of people around me thinking that I may be a little too broken scares me. The thought of my world crumbling to the ground scares me.

But then I had a check-in with my doctor and she told me something that I hold onto every day. She turned to me and said “You’re right, it could get worse and it could come back. But there’s a big difference. Now you know how to take care of yourself and let yourself feel all those horrible things. Now you have a whole support system, ready to catch you if you fall. Cherish the amazing time you have right now. Cause it could get worse. But now we can kick ass. It could get worse. But we will deal with it when it comes. Together.”

MY recovery is very grey. I’m doing quite well. But there are times where I’m doing quite the opposite and all I’m in search for is a little empathy and some Kindness.  The difference between then and now is not the situation. It is me. I’ve learned to accept what comes my way and brave the storm as it starts to rain. I’ve learned to grow while the sun is still out. If darkness comes my way, I won’t look for that light at the end of the tunnel. I will become that light.

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