Finding Your Tribe

Life is messy. It is messy when we come into this world. And it gets a whole lot messier along the way. And if you live with mental illness, like I do, it adds its own mess. And recovery? Recovery might seem like it is about cleaning up that mess, but really it is one of the messiest things you will ever do, as a co-worker of mine pointed out.

Recovery is messy because you will inevitably have bad days. You will make mistakes. You will slip and fall and feel bruised and broken and exhausted. But you don’t have to do it alone.

There are many tricks in life. I am convinced that one of them is finding your tribe. Your tribe will be those who understand your quirks and neuroses, probably because they have their own things they are dealing with. And together you and your tribe can help carry each other’s burden. They can help clean up the mess.

It took me time to find my tribe. Part of it is that I spent so long hiding my darkness and mental illness. I didn’t realize that the darkness, the rough edges, are sometimes the way we form the strongest connections.

In other words, being open about your messy darkness is part of what helps you find your tribe.

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