The Speed of Progress – How Fast Should We Go?

Less Haste, More Speed

How often have you heard that??  Less haste, more speed.  If I had £1 for every time either I or my partner have said variations of this to both my stepchildren, I’d probably be a billionaire!  When the 4-year-old is putting her toys away, she’s in such a mad dash to get them tidy and moving onto the next thing that she often gets called back multiple times because she’s forgotten something.  Likewise, the teenager is often called back to redo some of the washing up because it hasn’t been done properly.  He’s in such a rush to get on his PS4 that he’s done a half-job and it needs to be done again.

Less haste, more speed.

The only trouble with this is we’re in a culture of instant gratification.  In the world of information, everything is there at our fingertips.  All it’s dependant on is our typing and browser speeds.  In shopping, plenty of companies offer Next Day Delivery or immediate reservation for collection.  In cuisine and dining we have our fast foods such as McDonald’s or KFC, but we also have “instant noodles”, “instant mash” and other “instant” products.

We want things now and we’re so used to it, in this social mess of a society, that we often think many other things should be instantaneous.

Like, perhaps, a recovery from a mental illness…

Slow Progress

The offending glass…

When it comes to our own recovery, we never think we’re going as fast as we should be.  As I write this, I’m recovering from a hand injury.  A glass shattered in my hand while I was washing it up and it’s left me with no feeling in half my thumb and I’ve had to have stitches.  Apparently there’s a chance the feeling might return to my thumb, and I know the wound will heal, but naturally I want it to be done now.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not later than that.

Don’t we always?

My poor hand…

Yet I know that, as with all such things, it will take time.  We aren’t like Harry Potter, we can’t just wave a magic wand and suddenly everything is healed and back to the way it was.  It simply doesn’t work that way.

So what do I do?  I have to be patient.

The Truth About Progress

We all heal at different speeds, don’t we?  Some of us can close wounds quicker than others, some of us recover at a far more rapid rate than other family members or friends.  Why?  There’s probably some scientific, medical, mystical reasoning for it but I’m afraid I don’t know that one.  I only know that our illness, be it mental or physical, and our recovery are personal.  Exactly what it says on the tin: they are our illness and our recovery.  No one else’s.

Even when other people try and get involved by coming and telling us that we really ought to be better by now – admittedly this happens more with mental illness than physical conditions – it is not their recovery.  They have no part in it.  We will recover, but it’s for us to do in our own time.  We might not know when that will be but we will still do it in our time.

And that’s OK.  It’s OK not to be OK, we don’t have to recover immediately.  We don’t need to be more resilient.  We will get there when we get there and not before.

So please try not to be too hard on yourself.  You’re making progress.  You’re getting better.  It doesn’t matter how quickly or slowly you go…you’re in a marathon, not a sprint.

Keep going!

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Become a Patron - No Room For ErrorDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Author: Alex Davies

Alex Davies is the creator and writer for Pushing Back the Shadows. Find out more about his journey here and connect with him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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