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My mom says I’ve always hated change. I wish she was wrong. Even the thought and idea of impending changes makes my palms sweat. After everything, you think I’d be used to it by now.

My treatment team throws out words: coping, surviving, managing, regulating and I want to scream. Is that really what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life? Is that what my days, weeks, months and years are going to be filled with? Is that what recovery is?

It’s hard for me to wonder if I was made wrong or incomplete or broken because as I look around the rest of the world just seems to be going with it as my heels are dug deep into the ground and I’m kicking and screaming “DONT MAKE ME.”

Filled with anger and frustration I think, “This isn’t enough. I want more. I need more. I deserve more.” We all do. We’re not here to cope, survive, manage, and regulate ourselves. We’re here to live.

Living with a mental illness (in recovery or relapse) isn’t easy, it isn’t a choice, nor glamorous. It’s constant hard work that often times you don’t want to do. Getting frustrated is normal. Giving up isn’t optional.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’ve found recovery through millions of professionals, programs, conversations with God, medications, and the undeniable will of those around me. But, recovery doesn’t  mean a magic wand has been waved and you’re cured – no, it simply means you’ve learned how to maintain your wellness through work and support.

For me, I regulate, I manage, I survive, I cope so that I may live.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.