When fighting a battle with your mind, many people refer to the light at the end of the tunnel where they realise that life was for them and that recovery was possible. Personally I have never experienced that light at the end of the tunnel and I half wonder if the idea was actually adopted by those surrounding people with mental illness rather than the patients actually describing it like that.
There was never any light at the end of the tunnel, not one that stayed on anyway. It may have flicked occasionally but it never actually stayed, instead it got gradually better. One of the big misconceptions about mental illness is that someone can recover in a second and that tomorrow everything will be okay. I am not going to sugarcoat it. Tomorrow will not be any better. In fact, it may be worse. I do not say this to deter you from recovery, I say this so that you can set realistic goals and so that you know what to expect.
As with any illness you will have both good and bad days. Some days illness gets pushed to the back of your head whilst other days you are doing well if you get out of bed. When you wake up the light could be brighter than yesterday and be more like a street lamp but it could also be a flickering candle just waiting for some wind. The point I am trying to make here is that recovery is not linear. You won’t just get better. Some days you may take two steps back, but you have to remember that that’s okay. Recovery is not a race. And it is not a constant. Relapse is almost inevitable but what’s important is making sure that you have the right support network and strategies around you so that you can get through it.