The Long & Winding Recovery Road

A place for support, intelligence, resources and recovery

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“Comparison is the thief of joy”
-Theodore Roosevelt

Recovery is a tricky word. A definition from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration says recovery is:

“A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

I like this one because it’s focused on the individual reaching personal potential. When we compare one person’s recovery to another we are not seeing things as they really are. We are robbing ourselves and our loved ones of joy. 

Let’s suppose I broke my leg. I would seek treatment immediately, get an x-ray, get casted, follow my Dr.s follow-up instructions and very likely I would be as good as new in 6-8 weeks. As long as I had no complications it would be straightforward, like many other healthy adults, I would fully recover from this acute injury.

And yet many health issues are chronic like multiple sclerosis or diabetes. Often it’s a bumpy long and winding road fraught with many “flare ups” or active symptoms and hospitalizations in order to re-stabilize and “recover”. It’s time to see mental health disorders in this way. These illnesses are also chronic, often lifelong, incurable health problems. They are treatable, manageable and people can and do remain symptom free for many years. Leading productive very successful lives just like MS or diabetes.

When we expect a chronic incurable illness to be a straight linear road to recovery we will often be disappointed, we can harshly judge ourselves or others too. All because we lack the knowledge of what recovery means and how to achieve recovery.

For mental health diagnoses rather that a straight road to recovery, we may see many on and off ramps, u-turns, rest stops, fender benders and wrong turns before we see a smooth ride. The most important thing is to keep trying to find the route to your recovery.

Never stop trying to find your way,

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