I believe that when someone is dealing with the aftermath of ill health and its impact on their life it is essential that they purposely follow the path to recovery. Key to this is having the belief that it is possible for them to regain a meaningful life. It’s having or holding on to hope. Then there’s having a system to follow.
It’s looking beyond mere survival and existence. It’s doing everything they can to move forward, set new goals and do things and develop relationships that give their life meaning.
Let me just define recovery.
- (tr) to find again or obtain the return of (something lost)
- to regain (loss of money, position, time, etc); recoup
- (of a person) to regain (health, spirits, composure, etc), as after illness, a setback, or a shock, etc
- to regain (a former and usually better condition): industry recovered after the war.
The word ‘recovery’ has two meanings .
The first is the traditional meaning – ‘recovering’ from the illness itself and getting back to normal.
The second meaning of recovery is about recovering a life worth living, without necessarily having a clinical recovery. Recovery means starting again from where ever you are and becoming more creative, beautiful, wise, strong and resilient than before.
Recovery is a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life, even with the limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose to inspire you to bring about change.
Many people are ambivalent about recovery, questioning whether recovery is worth it or even feasible. In the face of this uncertainty, it may be helpful yourself these questions:
What would recovery mean to you?
What would you like your life to look like?
What would you be aiming towards?
Answering these is your starting point.
While you may not have full control over your symptoms, you can have full control over your life. Recovery is not about ‘getting rid’ of problems. It is about seeing beyond your health problems, recognising and fostering your abilities, interests and dreams. Recovery is about looking beyond your limits so you can go on to achieve your goals and aspirations.
I am a great believer in goals. I firmly believe goals are pivotal on the path to recovery and in my next blog I’ll introduce the Recovery Star.
“Recovery isn’t about getting back to how you were before, it’s about building something new“ Anonymous