Balance and the recovery obsession.

We hear it all of the time. Balance this, balance that. It gets a bit tiresome perhaps, but really balance is the key to everything.

I am highly opinionated on the way this country (and probably many others) addresses obesity and health in general. I’m very much towards balance in this respect, and my way of working out if something is the right thing for me is to ask myself “Is it sustainable?”. If the answer is no, I most likely shouldn’t be doing it.

I want the decisions I make in my life to be things I can sustain for a long period, if not forever, without burning out, exploding, or whatever else. With exercise and eating in mind, I see it as a lifestyle. I’d never encourage someone to use the term diet.  I’m not usually that pedantic about terminology but lifestyle over diet any day.

Any way, to the point Natalie.

I’ve been doing some hard thinking about my blog and about disclosure. It’s been something I’ve always had in my mind, but that I perhaps have only thought about rather than put into practice.

I want to be honest, and I want to help others. But I don’t want to be overly negative. I don’t want my downs to dominate and I want to keep some things private. At first I thought that was a shame because I want people to realise how awful living with a mental illness can be, as well as how much it teaches you and changes you for the better.

But the fact is, it’s personal. Very personal, and I don’t think sharing everything should be the only way to tackle stigma or change people’s ideas about mental illness. It should be possible to keep some boundaries.

We are entering a very open time in society with regard to many things, but especially with mental illness, combined with living in a time where we can share anything online. It is simultaneously exciting and terrifying.

Balance is key. Balance to what I write on this blog is what I need to find, as a young and pretty clueless writer. I want to share some things, but I also want my privacy. I want to show that stigma can be reduced and attitudes can be changed without having to be extreme, without having to show all your dirty laundry for lack of a better expression!

This never started as a diary, and I would hate for it to of which I think the risk is real. I write to raise awareness. I write because I have something to say. We all do. I write to make people feel less alone and I write because I have to. I need to write like I need to breathe.

After much thought long before now, combined with deciding to do something about it today, I need to know what my blog is. I need to define it.
I will write about the things I see going on around me, connected to mental illness. I will give my take, and I’m not going to turn into a closed book, but that of a more personal level, will remain personal.

There’s a real risk in that which we term ‘recovery’ becoming an obsession in itself, and that can keep us trapped in the mental illness. It can lead to mental health consuming us, yes in a different way, but still in a way. Recovery can become an obsession and sometimes online communities and blogs can exacerbate this.

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