I’m actually sitting in one place long enough to write another blog post so soon after my last one. Train journeys on prescription. Dose: no less than 2hrs. Side effects: none unless you have restless legs! I might just survive this journey.
Actually between the fidgeting, view checking, txt’ing and munching I’ve been catching up on some of the blogs written about last weeks See Me re-launch. As a See Me media volunteer and speaker it was an event I had considered attending. I was certainly asked, but the first barrier to me attending was the location. Second, the fact it was nearly two whole days which would have required an overnight stay. I don’t feel I need to explain in-depth why these were issues for me and it wasn’t particularly a big deal not being there. After all, the event was well attended with like-minded people.
What did surprise me was some of the feedback. I can only comment on some of the factual issues, but the first one was attendees being offered support and help should the require it. What on earth was that about? Second, the theme of recovery seemed to engage only those who ‘have recovered’. Like many people have said in recent years, the word ‘recovery’ sounded like it was going to be something different, something new, something imaginative. I embraced it myself and then slowly the puzzle started to disintegrate. The more I thought about it and the more my physical condition affected how I feel, the more it didn’t make sense.
Recovery has been taken out of its box and used for the aims and purposes where it can be taken advantage of. Where it can be manipulated by the very people who 1. It doesn’t apply to and 2. Who think they know better.
Every one of us has the right to define ourselves how we see fit. If some people choose to use the word recovery then that’s fine, but YOU can’t apply it to others. Individuals have to apply it to themselves. If they then don’t use the word recovery for themselves and choose to describe it in a different way what right do we have to say otherwise. We shouldn’t be talking about a recovery movement, or choosing to engage only those in recovery. Are we not putting people in boxes, just like psychiatric labels do?
Mental health conditions are the most complex issues that we have to try and cope with and we need to start thinking differently about this whole area. I don’t know what the answers are, maybe we’re trying too hard. Every time we come up with something new we seem to create more problems.
When I tell my story now as I have done for many years I don’t use the word recovery anymore. I just tell it how it is. I’m hugely better than I was during all those years where I just didn’t function, but I’m not in-recovery or recovered. I’m just ME.