Its the latest buzzword to hit mental health.
But what does it really mean?
Working in public mental health I get to meet people with serious illnesses. I also get to work with their families. And sometimes, I feel like they are going through what in non-medical circles we might call an existential crisis.
That doesnt mean that they can't be helped by medications.
It also doesnt mean that they need to just pull their socks up and get on with it.
It does mean that psychiatry and medical science aren't always enough.
We have to find a reason to keep living.
We have to find a way to be ourselves - and sometimes we need to find out who that is.
Recovery doesn't mean an end to all symptoms. Nor is it a particular state that is easily defined or quantified. Its a fluid process that we build on every day. We might never get rid of the pain that is a part of our illness. But we can learn to enjoy life alongside the pain. And perhaps the pain will diminish as we focus on the things that matter to us. Relationships, creativity, physicality, finding meaningful work, nurturing our souls. The small (and large) joys of living. They are there waiting for us to welcome them back as we re-join the world.
Recovery is a process, not a destination.