Solidifying strong mental health is not something that happens overnight, even though it seems like some people were born with the stability of a concrete building.
For me, my biggest milestone to date was realizing that it’s OKAY to reach back out for help when you need it. I spent so much time and so many speaking sessions proclaiming my happiness and how incredible it was to be able to say I have been out of treatment for 6.5 years (will be 7 on October 24th!).
But through all of that preaching, I didn’t realize things had started to get bad again.
I didn’t notice that I couldn’t hold conversations as well, or that I didn’t go out of my way to hang out with people, or that I sat a lot more often at work (I have a standing desk that I usually work at all day because of my low back).
I didn’t notice my mood continuously changing 20 times a day, my workouts getting weaker or my demeanor getting ever so slightly less “pizzazzy” (that’s a word now, it’s been decided).
But my brother-in-law noticed.
And when he brought it up to my husband, my first action was to shut him out and complain about his lack of knowledge and ability to mind his own business.
But the next day, I found myself researching various websites to purchase pills from.
I found myself digging through cupboards for old pills that may have been left over from SOMETHING, I didn’t know what.
I stopped midway through my Google search as it hit me; this wasn’t normal.
My brother in law wasn’t out to get me, he was out to save me.
And I didn’t notice the backslide because it didn’t have anything to do with food.
Food was what I went to treatment for; and my eating habits are fine (#cookiedoughfordinner).
And when I eventually had a mental breakdown on the phone with my husband and then again with my mom, I had to shut out my ego and take control.
That next morning, I emailed the therapist I had worked with while I was in treatment.
The last time I spoke to her was in 2013, and I always saw “recovery” as “never having to meet with her again”.
But that’s wrong.
Recovery is having the strength and knowledge to recognize when you need some extra assistance.
It didn’t make me a “failure” as I so treacherously cried to my husband that it did; it made me strong.
So yes, I have decided to go back to therapy.
And there’s nothing wrong with me (well, except all of these mental issues obviously =)), sometimes you just need some extra assistance regulating your emotions and working through the tough shit.
Noticing a problem and coming up with a solution doesn’t make you a failure; it makes you a f****n warrior.