I am writing this for the both of us. Not because I am not yet on the other side of the darkness but because there is no other side or quick fix. Your recovery is a journey. The light we look for; for clarity, purpose and lost motivation is not switch operated. Think of it more as a candle to maintain. Sometimes the wick is just smoking, burnt out. Sometimes it gutters in the wind and sometimes it burns full bodied and strong, for hours and days. In whatever state, the hard work does not end. Nor should it, we are worth it. It is the easiest and hardest choice to stay in bed all day or isolated in some way. It is just as easy and hard to say the words ‘I will be okay.’ Just as easy and hard as taking deep breaths or being honest. Please, be honest… with yourself and others. Find the people who will hold your candle on the days it is too heavy for you. They are your matches; your palms to guard the flame.
Recovery is as easy as it is hard; like maintaining a candle. Remember you want your candle to burn bright, casting dancing light on the walls. Remember not to burn your candle in one sitting; blow it out from time to time and let your body curl inward like a wisp of smoke. Remember a flame is never steady and that’s part of its beauty.
You will be okay. We will both be okay.
I wrote this for a website called The Recovery Letters. This website uploads letters sent in by people about the recovery process when struggling with mental illness. This website has been incredibly helpful and reassuring for me at times, so I wanted to write something for both myself and anybody else who may read it. I encourage you to write your own following the guidelines below and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be addressed to ‘Dear You’
- Written in the first person e.g. ‘I felt that…’
- Be up to 1,000 words in length, preferably less
- Be supportive and give comfort to the person reading the letter
- Use your first name or a pseudonym to end the letter