Recovery is Not All Butterflies and Rainbows

I am currently writing a book about being an atheist with a mental illness. I think I’ve mentioned it a couple of times on here. I am living with schizoaffective disorder and an eating disorder and with this book, I not only want to give an atheist perspective on mental health but also give a very realistic view of recovery.

Let me start with the good. After struggling for years with the mood and psychotic symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, I am able to live a fulfilling and relatively normal life. I work and I have a family. I get to do the things I love to do and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I love being able to write about my success living with such a stigmatized and debilitating illness and I hope I can bring others hope.

But here’s where I get to the realistic view of recovery. While my life might seem pretty good and from the outside, I look pretty stable right now, I’ve actually been struggling with my eating disorder for the past few months. I’m mentally exhausted and physically sick. 

Two days ago I hit a breaking point and I’m ready to get help. I’ve been through treatment before with my eating disorder so I know a little bit about what to expect. Yesterday I started meal planning and I will contact my old counselor on Monday. I’m already feeling a little better — or at least see a light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s times like these that remind me to keep my writing honest and raw. Recovery is hard work — and while it is absolutely worth it — the journey is not all butterflies and rainbows. I’m not going to pretend it is and I’m not going to hold back. 

Most of the time I feel well so I know that even though I’m in a funk right now, there will be brighter days ahead. I’m nearing the end of my project and I hope my readers will feel the struggle as well as the triumph. 


  1. Bruce Fuentes says

    Baring one’s soul is difficult and painful, but in the end may be the best thing we can do to preserve fulfill our humanity. Thank you for sharing. I hope recovery and dealing with your challenges goes well.

  2. blf says

    Please get better !
    It sounds like you known what to do, when to do it, and where / how / who to get competent help from. All of which, to me (very much a non-expert) is extremely encouraging.
    And please stay safe, wear a mask, …

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