Recovery: A Poem

A Poem Written by: Kassidy Elmer

They say recovery is a journey
There will be ups
There will be downs
But it’s not so easy to live your life on a rollercoaster

A rollercoaster of experiences
And love
And heartbreak
And relapse

She couldn’t believe this was her life
It felt like failure over and over again
Met with new challenges each time
Every time she resolved something,
Something came swinging at her much harder

But that is recovery
That is mental illness
That is trauma
That is her life

Recovery was something she had to accept
She had to meet each “failure” with a new mindset
She had to remember what she’s been through and how far she has come

She had to have support and encouragement
Most importantly, she had to learn how to love herself and accept her illness


Kassidy Elmer is an advocate for youth and young adults specifically those who struggle with substance abuse, mental health or systems involvement. Previously, she has worked as a peer support stabilizer helping youth and young adults navigate adulthood.


If you or someone you know is in a medical or life-threatening crisis right now, get help quickly.

  • Call your doctor
  • Call 911 for emergency services
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255) TTY: 1.800.799.4TTY (4889)
  • Call Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line at 1.855.274.7471


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Tennessee Healthy Transitions Initiative, please contact:

Tennessee Department of Mental Health And Substance Abuse Office of Children and Youth Mental Health

Phone: 615-878-0043