As a response to the Daily Prompt: Amble, I was inspired to write about my determination to reach some kind of state of recovery from the place I am at with Bipolar I Disorder.  I do not plan on meandering my way through the grass to get there.

Recovery is a word that gets tossed around a lot in mental health circles, and I sometimes wonder if everyone truly understands what they are talking about.  I know some do, but I fear for some it’s just a catch phrase or a loosely defined idea.  It was for me when I first heard the word in regards to mental health.  “How am I supposed to recover from what you just told me is a lifetime illness?”  None if it made sense.

Then I realized that recovery is not the same thing as magical healing or returning to the same person you were before the illness.  Some people have diabetes but they recover from the sickest moments of their lives with it.  Some people have recurring cancer but recover from every terrifying episode.  So for me, I had to redefine what recovery meant before I knew what I was trying to aim for.

Now, I just want a better life.  I want a life of freedom.  That would look like a schedule that isn’t full of mental health appointments (it’s that way now because I need them, but I would love a day when that wasn’t the case). It would look like freedom from intense anxiety that flies up out of nowhere and prevents me from doing things I enjoy.  I recognize anxiety will always be a part of my life, but recovery would be me mastering it, instead of the other way around.  I want to be an adult with all of the privileges and privacy afforded. That means finding my own place eventually and living on my own without fear and without the current level of dependence I have on other people.  I acknowledge that I will always have episodes of illness.  I will likely always need medication.  I just want to function as an adult, in the adult world, and build a little life for myself.

So I am determined.  I am willing to do whatever it takes now.  There will be no ambling through the meadows on my way to my goal.  I am a one-woman targeting machine.  I am trying things I never thought I’d try on the way to feeling better.  Forms of therapy I never thought I would have anything to do with again, but keep being told are the answer, I’m diving in.  You can only hear something is the answer so many times before you are an idiot for ignoring it.

So there it is.  I have a fire in me to not let this monster take me out.  Recovery, by my definition, seems possible.

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