Oliver shares with us what they think being honest about recovery really means.

It’s that time of year again; self-harm awareness day is here and while news feeds and media outlets are inundated with positive stories of recovery and progression, providing us with goals to strive towards, some of us cannot help but feel as if we are doing something wrong.

Recovery is not as simple as it first may seem - sometimes just as complex as the mental health issues themselves - and attempting to stay motivated and inspired, after almost 4 years, is currently a daily struggle for me, and I’m sure for many others too. From not washing regularly, forgetting to brush my teeth and to eat frequently, these things are often not mentioned when it comes to the journey of recovering from mental health struggles.

Perhaps because it isn’t particularly palatable or appealing, or out of fear it may deter other people from seeking to recover, the daily struggles of individuals, who are years down the line in their recovery, are too often ignored, intentionally unmentioned, and dismissed as just ‘a bad day’. Ignoring the hardship of recovery, for whatever reason, can regularly alienate those of us who, after many battles to attempt to stabilise our mental health, still fall short of that perfect success story.

I feel as a community we need to be more honest with our experiences of recovery, whether in relation to drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, or mental health in general, and offer a support network which validates the everyday struggles we face as individuals in our attempt to return to health (or as close as we each can get to that).

I hope this self-harm awareness day you feel empowered and inspired to share your story, whether an impeccable tale of conquering ones struggles, a complex up-and-down rollercoaster of emotions, and all in between, and remember that you are not an anomaly and you are not alone.

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