The questionnaire that I posted about last week has come on its own and your responses overwhelm me (in a good way!). I just want to thank you for participating and if you haven’t just yet, please feel free to tell your own story about your journey to recovery. I’m highlighting a few of the responses here on the blog, of course with their permission. I hope you learn as much as I have after reading their responses. More posts to come!
Our first feature comes from Ryan. You can check out his page here.
Amanda: What has been your key to getting from remission to recovery?
Ryan: To me, the most important thing is being an active participant in my own progress to the fullest extent, and embracing solutions rather than excuses. There is no magic wand and no therapist that is going to cure me, I have to do the hard work every day, set goals and accomplish them, for all of my health wants & needs to come to fruition, because the truth is, at the end of the day and for the rest of my life, I am the only one who is guaranteed to be there for me 100%. Self-respect, smart work, and reward for a job well done are key.
A: What are some of the characteristics or traits you had to incorporate in your life to maintain recovery?
R: The following are essential to my daily life, in maintaining & furthering my journey to recovery:
- Forgiveness of self & others for events in the past that haunt me — meaning that I can start with a “clean sheet” and take back the power that was once lost.
- Insight, Self-Growth, & Self-Respect — meaning that I make it a habit of reflection to see what kinds of decisions I make that need to be changed, and then working hard on making those changes so that my relationships with myself and others become more trusting & fulfilling.
- Physical & Mental exercise on a daily basis — this means using the brain & body muscles that you have and pushing them to their limits so they become stronger and more useful, in turn giving me more tools when I need them. Boxing has been a wonderful way to maintain this activity.
A: What are some myths or misconceptions about recovery?
R: One of the biggest myths that I overcame was thinking that the urges to to harmful things were who I am and that if I didn’t act on them that I was living a lie and not being my true self. That is incorrect. I have learned an accepted that all people have urges to do destructive things, but it is not our urges that define us, it is our choices. Our behaviour as people is who we really our, not the thoughts and desires. Once you believe and accept this, you will have a sense of calm & freedom not felt before.
A: Do you think the journey to recovery could be taught to others?
R: Absolutely, the journey could be taught to anyone, if done in a way that they can understand, relate to, and believe, while taking on the task at hand and creating/accomplishing goals for themselves that are successful. Each person is entirely different and must be treated that way, but they must understand and believe that they have things in common with others and that inspiration can go a long way in fueling the fires of motivation in daily life, seeing that even and most importantly, they are their biggest role model, and the things they have already accomplished can be used as learning tools for new goals.
R: Recovery is a process that will be grueling and very stressful at times, enough to make you wonder if it is worth it, but if you take the strength & knowledge that you attain through your essential hard & smart work, the possibilities are endless. It’s up to you, the goals must be set and completed, and you must believe and have self-respect, but when you’re starting out on your journey it’s important to remember that one day at a time, even one second at a time, is okay and needed. Everyone that has a goal or has reached heights that you may think are too great for you has started from the very beginning, with nothing, and worked their way up. I’m continuing on this successful journey, and I believe you can and will too.