Recovery. The word sounds simple enough, but it’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve struggled with my mental health since I was 8 years old, to give you some perspective on long it’s been, I’ll be 15 in October. In between then and now I’ve had multiple panic attacks and breakdowns, self-harmed been on and off medication, been to therapy and even rehab.
Hey, I’m Adria. I’m 14, a self-proclaimed cake queen and writer.
Last year I was diagnosed with bipolar NOS.
I’d like to tell you that I’m fully recovered. That I haven’t had an urge in ages, never relapsed, and that my mental illness has practically zero control over my life, but all of that would be a lie.
A year ago in rehab, I made the choice to recover. Whilst I’m still a work in progress, sharing my story and advice in hopes of helping people in similar positions has always been something I’ve wanted to do. A while ago I watched a video in which someone said: “I will be recovering for the rest of my life.” Few things in life have hit me harder than that.
I’ve accepted my mental illness for what it is. The invisible mosquito annoying me constantly.
I’m sorry, someone told me I was funny once and I thought it was the truth so now I do that sometimes.*
The point is, it’s not about to disappear anytime soon. That doesn’t mean I don’t still wish I could punch my MI like a punching bag because I do, nor does it mean things won’t get better(spoiler: they will). It means even when you give up, you get back up. It means you never stop fighting for yourself
Here are some things that would’ve made my life a whole lot easier if I’d known them sooner:
*can you tell I’m not the funny one in my family?
FIND YOUR PEOPLE
Your support system won’t always be what you want or expect it to be. No matter what your situation is and regardless of whether your ‘friends’ and family support you, it’s important to find people that do. That might come from watching YouTubers, listening to musicians or joining an online support group, but whatever you choose, it’s important to make sure that even if things get rough they’ll be there for you.
FIND YOUR ESCAPE
This one of the most important tips in my opinion. For me, it’s writing but for you it might be walks in nature, drawing or watching One Day At A Time on Netflix ( because we stan a show with representation). I find that when I’m depressed, the hardest thing for me is getting out of that headspace, so having a plan in place, even if it’s not entirely specific helps me manage that.
HAVE A HEART-TO-HEART WITH YOURSELF
I put this one last because as important as recovery is, it’s important to remember that it is a choice. A choice that only you can make. I had to have multiple talks with myself before I was ready, and that’s okay. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy but is worth it.
Dear reader, you deserve the world and it’s about time you thought so too.
All my love,