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Recovery Ain't For Sissies

Catlin Palmer: OCD blog post about recovery, mental health, and addiction

That's right. You read it and I said it. It sounds intimidating, right? But, do you doubt me? If you're currently trying to overcome struggles of OCD/Anxiety or addiction, you will undoubtedly already know that recovery IS NOT EASY. But more importantly, what you may not know is. IT. IS. POSSIBLE. Recovery is possible. I'm living proof it is. That it isn't some imaginary place that's only found in a dream. And let me tell you, it's BETTER than I imagined.

Just 3 short years ago (even though it feels like decades), I was jobless, almost homeless, and most definitely hopeless. That was then, this is now. These days I'm doing much better and I’m much happier. I am grateful that I'm finally in a position where I get to pursue my dreams. Almost 2 years ago, on my 29th birthday, I was able to purchase my dream car. Further, last fall I had the privilege to purchase a home on an acre lot across the street from my grandparents, father, and siblings. While I know I'm definitely not perfect, I have made progress. This is what recovery CAN and WILL look like if you want it to. But how bad do you really want it...?

Turning your life around isn't easy, but it's worth it. It's worth every single second. Because you know you have earned it. You see, when you begin recovery, all you're really trying to do is be a teeny tiny bit better than you were yesterday. That's the secret to success. You set yourself up for success in thinking this way (something I call "Flowmentum" which I'll explain in future posts). I was once told that success is a function of expectations. Your whole mindset and entire attitude matters. You learn to be more grateful for what you have, have been through, and what you have begun. You become attuned to celebrate your progress while using where you are, and where you want to be, as motivation. You appreciate the good times knowing the work you have put into earning them. No longer do you take your life for granted. Each moment is recognized as an opportunity and not an obstacle.

However, like the title implies, this shit ain't easy. You cannot be a coward. You cannot expect to survive unscathed. You don't have to be perfect, but you had better be brave and have courage. We all have fears that limit us and we all know failing is a part of "trying." As humans, we achieve what we believe. What the mind conceives, the body achieves. But before all else (wait for it), you must love yourself. Above anything and everything, we need to love ourselves. If we don't feel and believe as though we deserve to get better, we won't. I know I didn't. Not until I truly learned how to accept and love myself as is, as I was, as I am. Flaws and everything. Did I finally begin to make lasting change. It allowed me to think positively about the future. Hope for a better future, a better life. I doubted that was possible numerous times throughout the beginning of my journey, but with each step, my hope grew stride for stride. As you make progress, when you can actually see change for the better, it becomes your motivation. Now, I'm getting a little carried away here...

As I said earlier, as long as we find a small, tangible or intangible, way to improve each day, we will create momentum and eventually establish a positive sustainable energy in our recovery. In other words, you'll begin to think you're a bad ass again. And the more you focus on that, the better you'll feel. You'll remember how much you've been through and the strength that you built from each and every painful experience in your life. You'll have developed a newfound confidence that gives you the power necessary to rebuild your life. This confidence will perpetuate positively in a multitude of avenues in your life and psyche. You'll finally understand what it takes to be happy and create your own happiness. You'll know that you always, ALWAYS, always, have a can choose to look up or you can choose to look down. Either way, you get to pick. The choice is yours. And I choose up....

This is my first blog post of many on anything related to Addiction and what it's like to struggle with OCD. Please stay tuned for further posts about tips, techniques, and skills for overcoming the pains of OCD. If you would like to know more about my story, I have a "Biography" section on this website. (Look for it at the top of this page) I have suffered extensively at the hands of OCD and Addiction so I have chronicled some of those experiences and what they taught me. Also, if you're not already signed up for The OCD Experience "Newsletter," please do so! You can sign up on the home page if you just click "HOME" at the top of this page!!

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