To My Friend Who Just Started Her Recovery


Good Morning, how are you? No, how are you really? Because I see you sitting there with that false smile that everyone else seems to believe, but I know better because I know YOU. I know what true joy looks like in you because it radiates your entire being, there’s just no denying it. This is why I see your sparkle isn’t quite there today and that’s okay.

It’s perfectly ok to not be ok.

I can appreciate your worries about how your world might change if people found out: would your job be secure? How would your family react? Would your friends turn away? In the beginning, there’s always far more questions, really big scary questions, than answers and it’s far too easy to assume the worst. Then there are all those internal questions: What is wrong with me? How do I hurt in a way I cannot see or explain? When will this go away, I don’t have the time to be sick?

There’s nothing wrong with you, it can be seen and explained in ways that may be new and different to you, and whether you make the time or not the illness is happening. You are still you; bright, beautiful, intelligent, kind, funny you. This illness will not take that away from you if you don’t let it. And the sum of you is far greater than this illness. NAMI Principal of Support “We see the individual first, not the illness”. There are a variety of treatments and chances are there is a combination out there that’s right for you.

But I will not lie to you about this, not now or ever, there is a long winding road ahead of you. The path will not always be clear, there will be setbacks and you’ll just have to keep going. There will be times you’ll want to give up and that’s completely natural. What I could offer you if it was just one thing would be patience. Be patient with the process and most importantly be patient with yourself.

Why should you believe anything I say? Because I have stood where you are standing right now, at the very beginning at least seven different kinds of frightened. There were some really dark ugly times for me, times I nearly didn’t make it to the other side, but here I am. And this illness afforded me opportunities, experiences and friendships I would have never had otherwise up to and including you. How do I know you’ll be successful? Because you have something I didn’t have when I was standing where you are, you have someone who got through it and still battles it each and every day. You’ve got me by your side if you’ll have me.

It’s ok to not be ok: today, sometimes, any time really.

How about you and me try to find that “okay” together just one step, one breath, one day at a time.