Are You “Fiercely Committed” to Your Recovery?

I like to read the “about the author” portions on online articles. An article I just read on described the author as fiercely committed to his bipolar disorder recovery.

This made me wonder – am I “fiercely committed” to my recovery? Are you? If I wrote honestly, my about the author section would read more like this:

“She is recovering, but she frequently sulks about the challenges.”

“She’s doing what she has to in order to recover, but this is super annoying.”

“She takes her pills, but she glares at her pill bottle often as if this whole thing is the bottle’s fault.”

“She’s recovering. Mostly. Whatever.”

“She knows the healthy choices she should make, and she makes them often enough to not go into a full episode (but fudges the rules if she can get away with it)”

“She’s doing what her doctor says, but would prefer to pretend she’s perfectly healthy whenever possible.”

Fiercely committed would look a little different. Case in point: I might be offered a summer internship where the hours could be super weird. My husband said, “Um, that’s a problem…you know an interruption in sleep patterns can trigger episodes.” I immediately said, “No way, I’m fine. I’ll be fine.” *odd look from my husband* “Totally fine. Seriously. I’ve got this.”

Which, who knows? Maybe I would be fine. But does “fiercely committed” go into situations that are clearly hazardous to someone with my condition?

I’ve read numerous articles about the fact that a healthy diet and exercise regimen is essential to mental health for everyone, but especially to those of us with a mental illness.

Here’s the thing: running hurts, and eating cookies doesn’t. Pizza is yummy, and celery isn’t. I would rather sit and read than go “feel the burn” and sweat. Sweating is yucky.

But is any of that fiercely committed? It’s more “let me do the bare minimum to stay mostly stable.” Which, I guess is better than nothing, but…it’s only okay. I shouldn’t settle for only okay.

What have you done to be fiercely committed to your recovery? What inspires you? Because I would need some pretty major inspiration to give up pizza and go running in the snow. Also to turn down that internship (which I am so not going to do if I get it. I’ll be fine. Really).

Looks like I’m not fiercely committed. Hm.


7 thoughts on “Are You “Fiercely Committed” to Your Recovery?

  1. I love it: “Running hurts, and eating cookies doesn’t” – so true LOL. And also your thoughts about recovery. ME TOO.
    Depends on what “fiercely committed” means. Is ANYONE perfect in their recovery? Does ANYONE always choose to exercise over eating cookies? Does ANYONE always avoid pizza? Does ANYONE always stick 100% to an exact sleep schedule?
    No. Or if they do, I don’t want to meet them. Boring fuckers.
    (maybe this is me being self-conscious about my own lack of ‘fierce commitment’?)
    Anyway, I think “fiercely committed to recovery” is a catchy saying, but fundamentally the wrong idea. In DBT, we say the goal of recovery is to lead a “life worth living.” A life worth living, for those of us with mental illness, does require us to be more conscious of our health than the average person (diet, exercise, sleep, etc) – but if we’re overly strict with ourselves, there won’t be a life worth living (at least not in my book!). So I guess it’s a balance. Is self care important? Yep. But what I’m “fiercely committed” to is leading a life worth living, even with (and despite) my mental illness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I completely agree! DbT’s guidelines/philosophies are a great reminder. A life worth living includes doing things that make us happy, rewarding ourselves, etc. LOVE DBT.


    • Just reading the phrase “Fiercely committed to recovery” leaves me with a profound sense of exhaustion and makes me feel bad about myself, even though I don’t know why. It’s like it assumes that those who are trying to recovery aren’t doing enough if they aren’t doing it fiercely. It is a good sentiment, but I think we need to be proud of every effort we make, big and small because, as DBT assumes, we are all doing the best that we can!


  2. Here’s a question. Would doing the things that you feel you would need to do to consider yourself ” seriously committed” make you happier or less happy in the grand scheme? Chances are this isn’t an all or nothing question . giving up an internship would likely cause regret for a long while where taking it and facing possible relapse with a dedicated and educated husband to support you would be a temporary but painful bump in the road. I think you need to consider each situation individually. Nothing is worth giving up pizza and running in the snow would only serve to convince me that you have a lot more serious mental issues than BP. Recovery also isn’t all or nothing. Taking your meds is a huge big deal. Bipolar people are pretty non compliant when it comes to that. I am gonna bet you don’t do various substances or drink excessively. Every day is full of challenges. Facing them and not giving in to them requires some commitment. Plus- the author writes his own blurbs and I bet he doesn’t run in the snow and was eating cookies as he wrote that.


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