themighty logo

Why I Hate the Word 'Recovery' for Mental Health


See, I personally hate the word recovery because, to me, it implies it’s something you get over like surgery; you have it, you recover and it’s gone forever, the problem is gone.

Now, when I associate the word recovery with mental illness, it makes it seem like it’s a problem you can fix and I’ll get better — but it’s not. Mental illness is constant. It’s constant thoughts in my mind, constant feelings. Mental illness isn’t a problem I can just fix with some medication and a shrink; they can help me deal with it, help me cope.

Cope. See, I like that word because that all I do — I cope. I take it day by day. Some days are OK, some aren’t, and that’s just something I have to live with. I learn strategies to cope with my illness, with myself, with my brain.

Some of us make it, some don’t; the ones who do sometimes struggle every day. I believe I will never “recover,” because it simply isn’t possible. I wish it wasn’t an impossibility, but unfortunately, it is.

So, please don’t refer to me as “in recovery,” because I’m not going to get better. I won’t be fixed. I will still struggle every day, still fight every day to get out of bed, to have a shower, to leave the house, to control the spiraling thoughts and emotions for the rest of my life. That is not recovery — that is hell, and I am coping the best I can.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by Luiza Sayfullina on Unsplash