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The Ups and Downs of Recovery

It's always a relief when people understand that there are up and downs in recovery. And I mean recovery from mental health, alcohol or other drug problems. The feeling of relief is because the judgements that come when people don't understand these problems are harsh and unforgiving. Comments like, 'he will always be a drunk' or 'she will always be no good' or 'they are so crazy, stay away from them'. These comments do nothing to support families or the person living with mental health problems. And when people make these comments they are really showing a lack of education about the recovery journey that has ups and downs across time. This is actually really normal. And if someone becomes unwell or has a binge or uses drugs again this doesn't mean that they are going back into that world. It means they have drifted back in for a short time and they need support to get back on track with their recovery. It means that alcohol or other drugs have such a strong hold over people physically, mentally and emotionally that it can be easy to slip up. And as for mental health recovery. Well this is a journey of ups and downs because of needing to sort out medication, or learning and remembering to look after yourself in healthy ways. In short, the ups and downs of recovery are normal. I look forward to the day when everyone in our community understands this journey.

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