When You Struggle to Find Balance in Your Mental Illness Recovery


We have a Wii Fit video game (which we haven’t used in years) that included a mini-game tightrope walk. I was never any good at it. I thought at the time that just my physical balance was off. I don’t think I ever made it across to the other side. Today I am coming to terms with the fact that I don’t really know how to find a balance emotionally, or psychologically, either.

In conversation with someone I love and respect a lot, she mentioned that if she were to write a book about her life it would be called “Balance.” That sounded so wonderful to me. And something I would love to strive to have in my life. Those of you who know me well can probably attest that I am like a pendulum, constantly swinging in different directions. I never feel like I am an object at rest. I seem to crash and spend a lot of my down time in a state of exhaustion, yet when I am going I am full speed ahead.

When friends ask me how I am doing, I am never OK. I am either doing incredibly well or having a rough time. I tell my students I don’t really care for the adjective “good.” I want them to use “amazing, fabulous, wonderful…” and while that is great for describing artworks, it is a word I should add back into my vernacular for talking about how I am doing.

My path of recovery is like a long and winding road where I am either progressing at warp-speed, thrilled with the advances I am making, or I’ve stalled out with a flat tire and my engine’s on fire and I think I will never get anywhere or feel better. This is not a fun or productive way to be on any journey. If I could dream about finding balance in my current life, I would be able to appreciate the good things happening to me and be able to put into perspective things that are negative or struggles.

I wish there was a way to focus on a fixed object to allow me to improve my emotional balance. Wouldn’t it be nice if changing our ways were that easy? Here’s to continuing my recovery and aiming for some balance…

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