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When I Finally Understood the True Meaning of 'Recovery'

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So what is “recovery”?

The word “recovery” means something different to everyone. I used to believe recovery meant I no longer had depression or anxiety, however it now means something completely different. I feel liberated now that I understand the true meaning of recovery for me.

Recovery for me, signifies acknowledgement and acceptance I have a mental health illness. But it also means having the ability to understand and believe I am more than the illness and I can still have a happy and meaningful life regardless of my diagnosis.

I cannot tell you how amazing it felt to have the chains of feeling I needed to be “cured” lift off me when I realized the true meaning of recovery. I’d always felt so pressured to be “better” and to never struggle again. Of course I’d love to be cured and never have a depressive episode again, but that’s not necessarily going to happen. It’s OK though, I can be unwell, that’s OK and I don’t need to be ashamed of it. For me, it’s all about self-management, being open and honest and accepting I will have bad days.

I feel like I have purpose again. Life has a meaning and I can flourish. I’m Joy and I’m so much more than my illness.

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Thinkstock photo via Pimonova.

Originally published: April 25, 2017
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