Wednesday, 11 September 2013


I think one of the reasons I can sometimes be rather savage in my criticism of the concept of "Recovery" (as opposed to "recovery") is that I embraced it so wholeheartedly when I first became seriously unwell as a teenager. And over and over again in the time after. Yes, I've been trying to Recover since I was seventeen. I guess I must be really, really bad at it.

I tried the whole reject-psychiatry-and-medication-and-embark-on-a-journey-of-psychological-and-spiritual-healing thing. I tried all sorts of approaches. Hell, I was challenging thoughts and practicing mindfulness decades before these ideas became so fashionable (which is why I haven't always been graciously grateful when professionals have suggested them to me).

But somehow, despite all my optimism and best efforts, I kept becoming ill. Until eventually some persistent friends pushed and prodded and then downright insisted that I seek psychiatric help again. That hasn't been an entirely happy experience, but the combination of medication I take now does help. At least, it helps more than anything else ever has. I may not have been completely well this year but it has still been the best year I can remember since I was about fourteen.

But I have my doubts as to whether I will ever Recover according to my definition of it. Because they say that, that Recovery is a personal thing, whatever you define it to be. Maybe that's where I'm going wrong. I should change my definition, shift the goalposts and ta da, I can be Recovered too. My CPN often points out that I haven't seen the Crisis Team or been admitted to hospital for ages. And that is true and that is good. But I guess I've always hoped for something more. And I'm coming to wonder if I've just been unrealistic in that. Maybe things are always going to be this way. Maybe this is as good as it gets.

1 comment:

Philip M said...

Hi, I always struggle with the question you raise at the end of what to 'settle for'- whether it's what time of day to try and wake up or how much to push myself in terms of doing the long list of things supposed to be good for us.. Recovery or recovery, hmm, perhaps these concepts relate to an individual in ways that medical methods can never help us really achieve? I suppose for me it's a bit like advertising unobtainable perfection to people who have enough to worry about already. Best wishes