Mental health

What would recovery look like?

silhouette of a man standing atop of a hill
Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Recovery means different things for different people.  Here’s what my recovery from depression would look like:

  • confidence
  • the ability to feel joy/pleasure
  • resilience
  • hope
  • a sense of purpose and meaning
  • feeling strong
  • having a sense of control over my life
  • being able to smile and laugh, and mean it
  • looking forward to things
  • being able to generate emotional responses to events in a way that is consistent with my values
  • feeling open to new things
  • being able to look to the past or the future without being overwhelmed by pain

What are the essential elements of what recovery would look like for you?

The Moving Target of Recovery reflects on how my idea of recovery has changed 2 years after this post was written.

You may also be interested in the post Finding Recovery in Spite of Mental Illness.

42 thoughts on “What would recovery look like?”

  1. What you have listed has been my experience with recovery, for the most part. The only thing I would like to work on is socializing more. A month or so ago you seemed to be on the road to recovery. It sucks how depression reels us back in regardless of our efforts. Recovery still has its down days but for the most part, it is about feeling alive, for me.

  2. Being able to go places by myself, keeping a clean house, finishing projects, getting my energy back and reducing physical pain. Being able to hold a job

  3. All of the above, but I might only fit the criteria of a 1/4 of your answers. I am far from confident, I’m fearful most of the time (Anxiety), it’s rare for me to laugh wholeheartedly and mean it, because of my depression. Although there are times, I almost pee myself from laughing so hard when I’m with my friend JT. He’s a just a gentle giant with a hilarious view on life in general.

  4. Wow, that is a great list!! And you can totally do it!! Yay!!

    One thing I wonder is, would it scare you to achieve any of those things? For example, are you afraid that if you suddenly felt in control, that that’s the moment an earthquake would open up and swallow you? It could be an interesting task to find out!! 😮

  5. Recovery. Definitely revert to my personality from when i’m at my most stablest, i quite like her hah. I have more good days than bad days nowadays, so im quite happy about that. Interesting question because people often ask ‘what about when you’re recovered?’ and it begs the question ‘specifics?’ I tend to conform to other people’s ideas of recovery and answer with respect to that preconception of recovery. Except that’s the cool part right? your recovery is so completely yours, you can define it however. Once again, you’ve helped me towards new realization. Thank you for that, you’re doing a great job with your blog <3

  6. Yes! All of those things! I would really like to respond to people in a meaningful way like I used to be able to. It’s like my vocabulary has dried up, especially my positive words.

  7. Ah this is a great list. I might do the same, though to be honest I think you’ve covered most of the big ones! Looking forward to checking out more of your blog 🙂

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