I am in recovery. I’ve finally learned that recovery has very little to do with everything I’ve been taught with which to equate it. Recovery is not prescribed therapy, diagnosis, food, or drugs. It has to do with the absence of those things, but also the presence of them, all together– pieces of a contentedly imperfect whole. Recovery has to do with my ability to acknowledge those elements of my life, then place my focus elsewhere. My freedom comes from a lack of obsession toward any one of these so-called “cures”. My happiness comes from my aptitude for life alongside, but not compromised by illness.

I take minimal medication. Two drugs help make my symptoms bearable, and neither are addictive or have dangerous side effects. I don’t expect to find a miracle drug that will solve all of my problems, nor do I rely on the comforts of antidepressants or pain killers. I don’t find the need to numb myself to make life bearable. I no longer assume that I need a diagnosis to make progress in treating or accepting my situation. A label would make my illness understandable to the rest of the world– not to me. I no longer dwell on what I can and cannot consume. Usually I eat for health, sometimes I eat for enjoyment, and both are okay. I no longer waste my time with restrictive therapy diets. I now eat, and move on, with or without pain or other symptoms.

My illness is restrictive, but it doesn’t eliminate all opportunities for enjoyment and fulfillment My limitations determine the ways in which I act and experience life, but they don’t prevent me from finding ways to do so anyway. Once I realized this, my life took a huge turn. I no longer need to focus on fighting my illness before I return to life. I was spending so much time fighting my demons, I didn’t have the awareness to realize I was actually worshiping them. Now, my obstacles move with me, and I with them. I accept them, and continue to live and learn.

Lastly, I don’t think I will ever be recovered, nor do I need to be. My recovery will be a lifelong process, and my illness may or may not ever leave or subside. However, the world has too many beautiful things to offer for me to lose myself in negativity.

Illness is still difficult to cope with. I still have bad days– that’s okay. My symptoms are not optional. My suffering is. True suffering comes from my interpretation of my circumstances. I can easily chose not to harbor resentment, not to feel hopeless, and not to blame myself or anyone else. Instead, I choose to appreciate my challenges, and continue to love the life I’ve been gifted.

Friends are the best medicine.
Friends are the best medicine.

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