As a young girl, I was fascinated by the concept of "one size fits all." The idea of the same shirt being able to fit me and my father was amazing. It also made shopping easier. Looking at old pictures, I realize now that the "one size" shirt didn't fit me well (went to my knees) and was still loose and hung below my father's waist. While the shirt did address the need to cover the torso, the fit was poor. The best fitting garments that I've ever had were tailored to my body. I never questioned why these garments worked so well for me, because it was evident. Someone was taking time to measure me and make certain that I received a product that fit my needs. So when I think of they way we often want treatment and recovery paths to proceed, it makes little sense. Comparing ourselves to others is a no win proposition.
Amazingly, it took class action lawsuits to slow the use of the term "one size fits all." Now it is more common to see garments labelled "one size fits most," or simply "one size." Hopefully, the idea of "one size" will fade. When we look for providers, we want those that tailor the treatment to our needs and address our specific concerns; we don't say "give me the standard round of care."
So why does it become difficult when your recovery doesn't keep "pace" or mirror the recovery of another? In this journey, I've met people who recovered after 6 months of treatment and those that recovered when in their late 50s. Recovery is never too soon or too late. While we know some factors that are predictive of recovery, we can still never predict with certainty. The literature may hold evidenced based treatments, but even this has to be tooled to suit the individual.
I write to hopefully encourage patience with the process. We must enjoy the journey and learn from our mistakes. Find the tools that you need to make your recovery a success. Resist the temptation that jealousy and envy often pose. Instead, learn to celebrate your own uniqueness. Find providers that understand your challenges and work actively with you to make these strengths. Lastly, believe in the power of your ability to change.
Peace be with you.