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Recovery is Lonely

by Sianna Knight 3 months ago in recovery
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A journal entry

I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that it is okay to express hurt. Letting someone know that they upset me isn't me guilt tripping them. It isn't manipulation. I'm not being overdramatic. I am allowed to feel the way I feel. But still, I can't help but feel as though I'm doing something wrong when I'm expressing any discomfort someone may have caused me. I wish there was a way I could be seen and heard without potentially upsetting anyone else. I want to be understood without risking harming others.

My old sociology teacher told me that we, as humans, often judge others for their actions and not the intent behind them, even though we want to be judged for the intent behind our own actions. I want people to understand the hurt behind my words, even if they aren't articulated in the healthiest way. I want to be listened to and understood; I don't want my words to be taken at face value. But in order to expect others to judge me for my intentions and not my actions, it would make sense that I do the same. Which I think I do?

I like to think I'm a good listener. I like to think I truly take the time to understand people's emotions. I feel like that's a strength of mine, having the ability to hear and to understand. But it never really feels reciprocated. Every time I begin to spiral, all I want is to be heard. I don't want to be judged; I want to be understood. It seems, though, that nobody really wants to listen until I make a big deal out of things. I'm not saying I lie about the intensity of my emotions to get attention; What I mean is that I am only heard by people when it gets to that extreme level of intensity. It seems as though people only care when I am in the hospital. Until then, I am invisible. I haven't been to the hospital in 8 months, and although recovery feels amazing, it seems people only want to be around me when I'm sick.

I'm learning that recovery is lonely. It seems that when you fall into the rabbit hole, it's more comforting to stay with the people who are suffering with you rather than to find a way out. The phrase "misery loves company" may be cliche, but there is a lot of truth to it. I was at a point where I surrounded myself only with people who were struggling in the same way I was. And while, for some people, that can be a great way to connect with others, for me it was an excuse to stay mentally unwell. I had a community of people who helped me wallow in my sadness. Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting the blame on the others who were struggling. It wasn't their fault in the slightest. I just feel as though their presence made it easier to excuse refusing help.

When I began to recover, I noticed a lot of people still held onto the unstable version of me; the version of me I wanted to move away from. I had to cut off so many people because my growth drifted us apart. And that's okay; everyone grows at different rates, but it's not my job to hold onto people who are stunting my own growth. A valuable skill I've learned is to love and support a lot of people from a healthy distance. That way, you're not interfering with each other's betterment, but you still have that person in your corner.

I want to let everyone in recovery know that you are not alone, though it seems like it. Recovery for yourself is a journey only YOU can make, and while everyone is going through their journey individually, find comfort in the fact that others are going through their own journey at the same time you are. Because in that way, you are never truly on your own.


About the author

Sianna Knight

I am 17 years old, and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the age of 15 and bipolar 1 disorder at the age of 14. Writing has become my way of expressing myself while creating a space for others to feel seen

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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