“Recovery begins from the darkest moment.” –Sir John Major KG CH

If you’ve been following Hope Inc. Stories for a while – specifically the Recovery Talk entries – you’ll notice the writers have become more brave and vulnerable lately. For me, my deepest thoughts and struggles turn into some of my most powerful writing.

Dark moments are what they are – they’re dark and feel as if they’re closing in. What I’ve learned in my darkest moments, though, is that I only have one job at that point – to seek out the light. Feeling along the sides of the walls for any crack, any opening to pierce through the blackness. Reaching out to see if I can touch something that may be our saving grace or my answer.

When in the darkness, our downfall happens when we stop searching and feeling for the light. Unfortunately too many stop looking, stop asking, stop calling out for help. I’ve discovered being loud in the darkness is when the universe, God, fate, karma (whatever is your flavor) intervenes and gives you hope. It’s when your social support circle sees your struggle and holds that hope for you while you stand back up.

When I am working with people struggling with their mental well-being, although we want them to know “it will get better,” I’m not one to shy away from the icky parts we’ll still have to chip away. Darkness is a powerful part to recovery and it wants us to sit and not survive. I know that the climb, the seeking the light, and the reaching out for help will continue to fight that darkness within. Keep fighting, everyone. The light will soon show its face.

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.