Mental Health Recovery   1 comment


In December of 2004, SAMHSA, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a department within the US Department of Health and Human Services, convened 110 panelist including: mental health consumers, family members, providers, advocates, researchers, academicians, managed care representatives, accreditation organization representatives, State and local public officials, and others. As a result of there discussion and the developed the following consensus statement as a definition for Mental Health Recovery

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

 Though I had not read or seen this definition prior to adopting the name of “Road to Recovery”, I have long believed that recovery was a “Process” and the more and more that I thought of it the concept of comparing it to being a “journey”, and thus the “Road” where one embarks on a journey. Summarizing from a previous post:

 Along our way on any road or journey, we will encounter trials, obstacles, mountains, valleys, plains, rain and sun. The same is true for our journey towards recovery and wellness. We will have good days and bad, struggles and victories. What determines whether we succeed or fail in this process? It is how well we navigate through each difficulty as we face them; if we do not navigate these appropriately we will find ourselves in the bar ditch, or in recovery terms, relapse.

 That brings me to the next phrase “healing and transformation”.  I have long believed that Recovery is no just about medication and therapy. It truly is a process of getting better, gaining strength as we face “our issues” struggling through the pain in order to eventually overcome them.  It is a way of life; a complete transformation in how we perceive the world and our place in it. Thereby, it changes how we respond to it. We learn to make better choices that are going to enhance our lives and well-being rather than exacerbate it.

 It is amazing how deep five little words in a simple phrase can be, but “to live a meaningful life”, is just such a phrase. Simply beginning with the word “live”, I imagine some that experiences life and is an active participant in the world around them. Someone that seizes life, experiencing every moment for all that it is worth. So many of us have been content to “survive” and “suffer through” our lives and experiences in the past. As we continue along our journey and transformation we finally, and for the first time for some of us actually start “living”!

 “A meaningful life”, for too long many of us have had no concept what actually having a meaningful life meant. Our lives have been ravaged by the symptoms of our illness, trauma and poor choices and behavior to the point that we came to believe that life, ours anyway had no meaning. As we grow and begin to see ourselves and our world through the new insights and perspective of recovery, we will gradually, yet slowly begin to recognize that our life does have meaning. Even more so, we acknowledge that we have value and have something to give back to the world around us.

 As we learn to “live” and not just survive from one day to the next, we realize that we have strength, and abilities that we had either never realized or forgotten. This insight fosters hope that we do not have to settle in our lives as they are; we can be and do ANYTHING that we set our minds to do. We are now able to realistic believe that we can set goals and trust in ourselves that we can actually achieve them. We can LIVE our lives to our full potential, no longer holding ourselves back in self-doubt and fear. We strive to “Be all we can be!”

 So today as you continue along your journey of healing and transformation, tell yourself, “The pain and difficulty that I am experiencing now is worth it, because I know that in the end I will become the person that I have wanted to be and I WILL achieve all that I am capable of doing.”

 Carpe’ Diem – Seize the Day

Remember Yesterday,

Hope for Tomorrow

LIVE Today!


One response to “Mental Health Recovery

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  1. I am finding that sometimes I need to remind myself daily to focus on healing. Some days are easier then others. Finding meaning and value in my life is an even harder task and I struggle to believe anything positive.
    I haven’t given up though and I use your site to help me to remain focused.

    Thank you for your insight and sharing the experiences you have gleened from life.

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