Reasons to Recover

Written by: Morgan Blair, Founder and Creative Director of Unpolished Journey

Mental illness blinds us. It sticks us in a tunnel that appears to have no end. All darkness. All hopelessness. This tunnel that we are trapped in is small and dingy and only has enough room for ourselves. We become completely consumed by our own internal suffering that we are unable to notice anything happening around us. We become shut off to the concept that others might be struggling to, that we may be able to help if not so trapped within ourselves. We become blinded to any goodness, any light, any hope that may be surrounding us because we are trapped in that dark, hopeless tunnel with no belief in our ability to crawl out. Our world becomes only as big as the tunnel – narrow, small, dark, and completely isolated from the rest of the world.

This tunnel analogy rings true for me when I fall back into my eating disorder. Except, not only does my eating disorder’s tunnel appear small and dark, but it also comes with spiders and chains and an unrelenting obsession with myself. What did I eat today? What am I going to eat today? What do I look like? How much do I weigh? How many miles did I run? When can I binge next? Within the chains of my eating disorder, locked in that tunnel, there is no one else that matters except for myself, my food, and my weight.

When I am trapped in my depression tunnel, I become consumed with myself as well, with my focus more on my own suffering than food or my weight. I ruminate on past memories and reasons why I deserve to be so miserable. I am unable to fixate on why I am on this earth, and I replay in my head why I am undeserving of this thing called life. Depression is cruel. Depression is the monster in the tunnel that locked me up in the eating disorder’s chains and released the disorder’s spiders across my entire body. Depression in the mother of all things miserable and the captain of a self-consumed darkness that shuts everyone else out.

With all that being said, I have come up with my top three reasons to recover from these terrible diseases.  As I describe them, they are in no way ranked in order of importance. These three reasons are equally significant to my soul’s desire to recover.

  1. My first reason to recover is to be able to Experience Life. To get out of that damn tunnel. To pull myself out of that self-consumed misery so that I may be able to truly see the goodness surrounding me. I want to be able to have relationships, have passions, experience the world around me. I want to be able to smell the flowers, climb the mountains, bask in the sun. I want to dive below the ocean’s surface and fly high into the clouds. I want to truly live.

  1. My second reason to recover is to Help Others. When I am trapped in my mental illnesses, I don’t have the mental capacity for anyone else. I don’t even care enough about myself to begin to care about others. This is the exact opposite of who I was created to be. I know that we are here on earth to be able to reach out and touch the lives of others. Also, when you are able to help others, you begin to feel more confident in yourself because you feel like you matter, that you are significant, that you are needed. It is no wonder why mental illnesses want to keep us trapped in a tunnel because if we are isolated from the world then we don’t even have the opportunity to connect or inspire others. Therefore, we don’t feel like our presence even matters in this world.

  1. My third reason to recover is to Reconnect with my Passions.  I am an artist. I am a painter, a writer, a dancer, a performer, a speaker, a lover of all things creative. I watch movies for hours, analyzing the director’s and editor’s filming techniques. I critique art in museums. I read for hours without even noticing any time passing by. I am a passionate person. That’s who I created to be, but when I am in my eating disorder or chained down by my depression, all I care about is my internal suffering. I don’t have any energy left to be excited about art or creating. I don’t have any life inside my veins and therefore there is nothing left to overflow into my art. Therefore, I am not fulfilling my purpose and will, leaving me unsatisfied with my existence.

Mental illness loves to tear us away from our reasons to recover. It loves to blind us, trap us in those tunnels, and leave us in the dark. Its goal is to pull us as far away from our purpose’s so that we are unable to believe we even have one. It is important when seeking out a life in recovery to make a list of your own reasons for embarking on this journey. Pin them up on your wall, tap them to your mirror, stick them on your fridge, write them on your arm. Whatever you have to do to remind yourself constantly throughout the day that you WANT and DESERVE recovery.  You aren’t meant to live a life stuck in a dark tunnel.

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