The three habits of courage, adaptability, and hard work served me well in recovery and could serve you well too:
Courage is a rudimentary ability to persist in the face of an unknown future
or potential risk. It isn't easy to confront the truth head-on: about the illness, about our changed lives, about needing medication if we do. I respect and admire the courage it takes to wake up every day with an extra hurdle to clear. Having the courage in recovery to continue when life is less than ideal will help you transition into the life you want.
The ability to adapt to how our lives change is to me the greatest skill in schizophrenia recovery. Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi is quoted: "I don't think of myself as unbreakable. Perhaps I'm just rather flexible and adaptable."
To bend, not break, is the goal. I was faced in 2007 with an ultimatum: the
Stelazine stopped being effective after 20 years. I called Dr. Altman one night and the next day he switched me to an atypical. My practical schizophrenia medication approach involved a cross-titer from Stelazine to Geodon.
My doctor told me once that I recovered not solely because of the medication. He said I recovered because of the action I took: "You succeeded because you have a hard work ethic."
The goal is to try, because as the editorial team of HealthCentral wrote in a road to schizophrenia recovery slideshow, "The only real failure is the failure to try." Trying, it was suggested, can be as simple as getting out of bed.
Often, it comes down to perception. Instead of thinking "I won't be able to do this" change your thought to: "I can do this because I'm willing to try."
Some important takeaways about courage, adaptability, and hardwork as effective schizophrenia recovery habits:
Remaining flexible and open to change allows us to quickly take action. Delaying getting help or settling for the status quo (when the status quo isn't working) can jeopardize our mental health. Nothing last forever: our lives can change years later in our recovery.
Acting with courage requires that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable-and this is often our greatest fear-revealing ourselves to others. As hard as it is, we need to allow ourselves to feel what we feel. Numbing our feelings with street drugs, alcohol, or food is only a temporary escape.
Related SharePosts on schizophrenia recovery strategies:
Giving and receiving peer support
Acting self-reliant to overcome obstacles and have a better life
Connecting with a recovery mentor who's been down this road before you
Coping with hard times by using five strategies