“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” –Walter Elliot

When we set goals, we set long-term and short-term goals, usually with the short-term being steps to achieve the big picture. I’ve heard recovery and life’s journey be called a “marathon,” which makes it sometimes feel never-ending and unattainable.

Separating each large task (or marathon) into smaller legs makes it seem more realistic. When someone is persistent, I don’t believe it’s because they’ve got any more stamina than the rest of us. They see their course, and look for mile markers. One mile down, one more, one more.

Recovery is the same way. One day we call a therapist. The next day, we attend an assessment. The next time we begin to share. We make achievements at our own pace, and may even take steps backward. Choosing a life without the anxiety (or other stressor) is a vulnerable, difficult choice. It’s one I choose every day.

Have I had some “freak out” moments in that marathon? For sure. Know what I have in my corner that keeps me going? A wonderful spouse, a kind therapist, warm friends and colleagues, and a desire to win the short races along the way.

Kristen Ellis

Kristen has worked in the mental health field since 2013, with a focus on crisis work, substance use services, and bringing a voice to lived experience. Her ambition is to change the way mental health care and recovery is seen and achieved, so to redefine what it means to defeat adversity.