I talked last week about how healing takes time and healing often happens in layers. Today, I want to talk about how healing can also be painful.
Healing and recovering from a mental illness often means confronting the demons where they live. And this might mean confronting aspects of your past that are embarrassing, uncomfortable, or downright painful.
For me, it is meant confronting a lot of sources of anger that I had been repressing. Much of that anger fed the demons of my depression, making it easier for them to pull me into the shadows. So often, I told myself it wasn’t okay to have this anger, that society didn’t like angry people. And that is bullshit, plain and simple.
Yes, society might not like it when someone expresses their anger, especially when they do so loudly, but anger is a normal human emotion that we all feel at some point. There are healthy ways to explore that anger, just as there are healthy ways of exploring the layers of healing. Yet not allowing yourself to feel it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means it will likely come out in a less than ideal way.
Healing also means confronting maladaptive behaviors you’ve adopted, or things you’ve said in the midst of a depression that you regret. You can’t take those words back, but part of recovering from a mental illness, in my opinion at least, means learning and growing. And recognizing your remorse as a sign of growth can be a step towards recovery.
So final thoughts on recovery? It takes time. It happens in layers. And it is painful. But it is also so worth it.