Recovery is Not a Linear Road

Recovery is not a linear road. That is something I have to remind myself every day.

But it is possible.

Recovery is a journey, not just a destination. For many people, the concept of recovery is staying in control of their lives, despite a mental illness problem.

The guiding principle of recovery is hope. That is what I want to showcase to others. I want people to associate me with hope.

After years of mental health and substance abuse issues, I finally decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and give myself 100% to recovery. I wanted it so bad. I saw others manage their illnesses, and thought to myself, “If they can do it, then so can I”. That single thought is where it all started.

Fast-forward a couple of months and I am doing better than ever. I’m back in school completing my Business degree at Okanagan College, I’m doing mental health awareness speeches throughout the Okanagan with organizations like the BC Schizophrenia Society, and I’ve used resources such as Canadian Mental Health Association, Foundry, and Reach Out counselling.

Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve been getting involved with my community which has helped TREMENDOUSLY. I am blessed to live in Kelowna, BC with such caring and inspiring individuals. I’m using my voice to help and inspire others and I encourage others to do the same. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you just SPEAK UP and share your story.

No one can deny you your right to share your story. That’s what I think is the most powerful. I finally feel like I have a voice and am making a positive impact. I know what it’s like to be at the very bottom. I’ve experienced suicide attempts, drug overdose, hospitalization, bullying for my mental illness and so much more. I want to inspire others that recovery is attainable, no matter what.

Five major things that helped me along my recovery journey are:

  1. Using mental health resources in the community, such as Foundry Kelowna, and sticking to the program.

  2. Volunteering with an organization that aligns with my values. I feel like I am a part of something bigger.

  3. Reading and educating myself on mental health and personal development through books and podcasts. There is a wealth of information available out there!

  4. Making exercise a priority. It can be as simple as going for a walk in the park.

  5. Not being afraid to communicate and connect with others. You don’t know who may be going through a similar situation.

“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.” Brene Brown

- Jillian | @thebipolarblogger


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