Monday, July 8, 2013

Growing with Recovery

I think about being a recovered Mental Health client-consumer many times throughout the years that I have been working and associating with co-workers and others.  I know that “recovery” began in the late 1980’s, a time when I was virtually useless as a drug addicted person and alcoholic.  As the Mental Health system began to change so did many others I knew as consumers and as I began to realize that I had to grow, how to start to make a transformation
I did not know.  People other than those I knew as an addict, peers in the mental health system, began to associate with me and began talking about becoming cured or recovered from their mental distress, their illness, even I wondered if there was a “cure” for the illness I suffered from, besides addiction and drunkeness.  As time progressed I learned ther were internal and external forces to be recokoned with.  Resilience and hope, words I never used, besides empowerment and something I lacked, which was responsibility and self-direction were words I never thought of until I thought of reaching out for help , yet as I grew, I learned I could educate myself about my symptoms and learn to cope and manage these symptoms of my illness.  I could with this new knowledge, mold my self with self-discipline and know what empathy meant in this society.
Recovery means changing direction, your attitude and what you believe in from what I have learned about others and myself as well.  It doesn’t mean having a reliance on medicine, pills or self-medicating your self on illicit drugs or alcohol, it means to search and explore your personal self, exercise and meditate and find a balance between yourself and those who care to help you as well as loved ones. 
Focusing on building a new world for yourslef is a step in recovery, from the woes of distress which had become common to you to knowing that recovery makes you a new person, one who is unique with an ability to understand your rights and who knows the choices and self direction of your life. 

Written by Donald S.

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