"Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn to walk." – Walt Disney

Congratulations! You’ve recovered and now life is going to be perfect and simple, right? Recovery is a day by day process. It’s something that may be easier some days than others, or sometimes it’ll hit us like a ton of bricks.

I am a person who has challenges with anxiety and panic attacks. Lately I’ve been doing well and have been able to talk myself through things that would normally worry me. After five months of avoiding panic attacks (which still used to happen a couple times a month), the ton of bricks came. It was scary, overwhelming, and I felt like a failure. It wasn’t until it passed that I realized the frequency had lessened. I wish I could share with you struggles disappear once you’ve changed your life.

Anxiety and panic aren’t regular roommates anymore. They’re out-of-town visitors that want to check in once in a while – and I let them – but they know their place and they’re out quickly. This has taken a lot of work to set boundaries with myself about not staying in self-pity and self-deprecation when this happens. Struggle is going to happen, and often when we least expect or want it.

What matters is – how we get back up.

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.