"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living." —Gail Sheehy

I never thought about change this way. I have always seen change as an inevitable part of living, but not that I am not really living if I don’t change. We all know change is hard – we’re reminded of it when we’re going through a rough time, when folks want to encourage us, and when we see clichéd quote items at the store.

I wish in those times I’d be reminded that change is just growth. It’s a time where we’re stretching and using muscles we haven’t before. We’re engaging places of our heart and soul that may be sensitive or less developed.

I like control. Change removes that control from my hands. Change forces me to go along for the ride, often not knowing the destination. If you know me, that doesn’t fly easily. As I write this, God, the universe, fate – whatever you believe in – is forcing me into a new growth pattern. I imagine they all are working together to push me.

Recovery is a day by day process. Apparently, I’ve mastered this level of managing my challenges and now I get to “level up” in this journey.

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.