“You’re all going to hate the word ‘recovery’” by DJMac

Disagree-2One of the problems with an aspirational and non-prescriptive definition of recovery is that it is hard to measure. The definitions most commonly featured in the literature share some elements including wellbeing or health, abstinence and citizenship.

Clearly if you can’t define it precisely, then it’s hard to commission services to deliver on it. In this case proxy outcomes are used. There’s a lot of debate amongst professionals on recovery definitions and measurements, but what about service users? What do they make of ‘recovery’?

In a teasingly titled paper (‘‘You’re all going to hate the word ‘recovery’ by the end of this’’: Service users’ views of measuring addiction recovery) Joanne Neale and colleagues scope the views of clients and patients in a variety of settings and run past them professional perceptions on recovery measures. How different are the perspectives?

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I Am Not Anonymous: Kristina, ‘Change is Freedom’

KristinaText-1024x681(pp_w1000_h665)‘Recovery goes far beyond its definition or interpretation. It’s about embarking on a process; a journey of fulfillments, enriching lives without the use of mind or mood altering substances.

Before ever being introduced to this process I was left with my own devices. After years of struggle and degradation, and the lives I’ve hurt as well as my own brought me to my knees. Everyone and everything seemed to have vanished within a blink of an eye, as if I woke up from a bad dream laying in the fetal position.  My body was  aching in pain and I couldn’t recall much of anything.

Crying out in desperation I felt helpless and my vulnerability was eating me alive. I hadn’t bathed, ate or slept in days. I was nothing but a mere existence of skin and bone who had lost her soul.

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‘What is Recovery?’ according to Stephanie Brown (Part 1)

book-a-place-called-selfI wrote this blog earlier this month but forgot to follow-up with the other parts. Life has been hectic! Thought I’d post again and then follow-up!

“Recovery has held so many surprises for me. Some good. Some bad. I didn’t know I could hurt so much. But I also didn’t know I could love so much and be so loved.

I had no idea that recovery was also learning how to be in intimate relationships, learning how to have close, wonderful friends. Then there’s my marriage. My husband and I have developed a rich life together.

And get this – I really like myself now. Learning about who I am and accepting me, that’s been the hardest part of recovery – and the best. I wouldn’t trade this path for anything in the world.” Anne, Recoveree

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Nic Sheff’s reflections on his recovery

imagesSome of you may remember my blog in which I recommended the books by Nic and David Sheff (father and son) which centered around Nic’s drug addiction and recovery.

Nic recently wrote a blog Michael Hastings, Addiction and Me which made reference to his recovery, including the relapses that occurred after his book was released. (Nic has been clean for five years now.) The blog contains some pretty powerful recovery writing, which I have included here:

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‘What is Recovery?’ according to Stephanie Brown (Part 1)

book-a-place-called-self“Recovery has held so many surprises for me. Some good. Some bad. I didn’t know I could hurt so much. But I also didn’t know I could love so much and be so loved.

I had no idea that recovery was also learning how to be in intimate relationships, learning how to have close, wonderful friends. Then there’s my marriage. My husband and I have developed a rich life together.

And get this – I really like myself now. Learning about who I am and accepting me, that’s been the hardest part of recovery – and the best. I wouldn’t trade this path for anything in the world.” Anne, Recoveree

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Introduction to our Recovery Stories section

2007_0116walpole0067You will see that I have put up 16 Recovery Stories on the website. They comprise part of a book I have been writing. This book is taking longer than originally planned, so I thought it was important that people see them now rather than later.

In putting together these Stories – some of which have been written by the person, others written by me after interviewing the person – I’ve wanted to provide insights into people’s journeys into and out of addiction. To me the most important part of these Stories is the recovery process, but it also also important to see how people travelled into addiction and how they lived a life that was dominated by substance use problems.

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