I am often asked by clients when they will be better, when they will recover and be fully themselves again after struggles with their mental illness. This question is a deeply complex one and very relevant indeed in Mental Health Awareness Week.
Mental health for me is a process; and this process never ends, but ebbs and flows over time; the river of our life if you like. When people come in to therapy they are often in the rapids; overwhelmed and lost.
Over time we may reach the shallows, our feet can touch the ground and we may find some stability. With work in therapy and and patience we may even rest near the bank and we content with where we are in that moment.
Life though may pull us in to its flow again and we may loose our footing and feel overwhelmed. I guess the difference is we know the bank is there and with support we know we can get find it. By knowing this we enter the process of recovery whilst remaining honest about where we truly are emotionally.
Mental health ebbs and flows throughout our life, accepting this (or embracing it) can empower us to wallow in the shallows when we can and hold on to hope through those choppy times.