“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence.” –Unknown
When I first began experiencing mental health symptoms and received a diagnosis, I felt this power within me that said I would overcome any obstacle. I began my journey against the current, willing myself to get better on mental stamina alone without changing my behaviors or the unhealthy habits I passed off as “coping skills.”
I pushed myself to overcome barriers at any cost, making a list of all the things I should be doing but no longer could. I left no room for true recovery or healing. I was tired of all the expectations, so I decided to try a softer approach because I could not power through these experiences anymore.
On the days I was tired and did not want to leave my bed, I chose to get up for just a little bit. If I did not feel like showering, I would just stand in the shower. If I felt like isolating, I texted one friend to have a brief conversation. I found that once I started, these tasks became easier as I was being kind to myself. Instead of powering through, I use perseverance to meet myself where I was rather than shame myself for what I should be doing.
Similar to how the water smooths a rock over time, the same happened to me in recovery. Perseverance, not power, allowed me to accept myself as I was in each moment.
Elizabeth is a Recovery Coach with RI International in Henderson, NC. Her passion is to provide person-centered services and empower guests through strengths-based language.