I think I’ve mentioned this elsewhere but I work as a peer support worker and on a daily basis I hear some wonderful analogies about what mental health is, isn’t and how to view the circumstances in which people find themselves. I talk to people a lot about ‘purpose’ in recovery and today someone came out with something that made my heart sing:
Purpose is about having something to swear about
I love the idea that if we’ve got something that isn’t traumatic but merely frustrating and challenging enough to make us swear under our breath then we have stumbled onto something worth pursuing.
I certainly know that during my recovery I have been so consumed with problems, trying to fix things and trying to find solutions that I didn’t have stuff that cause me just enough angst to swear about them. There’s hardcore “How the fuck do I fix my life?” swearing and then there’s under the breath, “Ah, for fuck’s sake, how do I do this?” swearing.
The first one is catastrophic and left me prone on the bed staring at the ceiling wondering why others were out having a life and I was looking at my (badly painted) walls whereas the second is more a mild frustration that I can’t work something out – but it’s a focus and something that I absolutely will work out eventually. At that point it was merely an obstacle to a goal and not an all encompassing terrible reminder summary at the start of another shit chapter of the TV series that is my life:
“Previously, on Destrecto…”
It just makes me think in a completely different way about recovery and how fortunate I am these days to be a in a place where I can merrily swear about any number of things and most of them aren’t all consuming and full of angst, misery, wondering and jealousy.