Friday, 9 October 2015

What recovery means to me.

Recovery, according to my dictionary ,"is a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength."

My problem with the word recovery and the definition is because it assumes there is a normal state of health to retrun to, but what does normal mean?

I have not had a major episode of depression or mania for many years (I don't think the actual number is relevant) – does that make me recovered? I dont think so because I have had times when I have struggled. I have learnt I always need to be careful that I keep physically well, eat healthily and do not exhaust myself or get too tired...

To some, I have not recovered because I take medication. I have well meaning friends say to me, you have probably out grown your bipolar. I am not hung up on the word recovery, I take each day as it comes.

The term recovery does not have any real meaning for me. I prefer the word resilience, because it is the tools we learn that enable us to pick ourselves up when we fall down that are crucial for us to maintain our health.

There are a lot of resources for people with a mental health issue, but as they get better there is often little help to help people stay well.

In my opinion people can still have times when they are unwell, but still be getting better. It is about control and knowledge. Taking control of your illness through knowledge and education is a major step in being responsible for your health.

Many Moodscopers are incredibly honest in their journey and while they may be experiencing a low mood they are always looking for ways to help them climb back out of the hole.

When the aim is for resilience and not recovery, there are no setbacks but opportunities to show the ability to recover from difficulties. There are always going to be obstacles placed in our way and if we can learn to develop strategies to cope with them, that will help us to maintain our health.

Online communities can help people learn from other's experience and stop people from feeling isolated. I was interested when Jenny posed a question to Lex about recovery and it made me think about what recovery means to me.

I would now like to hear what recovery means to you. It could be one word or a few paragraphs.

Does the word recovery have any meaning for you or do you have another word that suits you better?

Leah 
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/what-recovery-means-to-me