Don't let a setback discourage you, face the challenge and come out stronger for it. Celebrate your successes and be open to all of new opportunities that are about to come into your life.
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Post by CarolynEd.Dir. » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:52 am

The following is an article written by a man who went through the program...as you will see he is a wonderful writer and certainly has a lot of wisdom to share with us.

"I put ‘recovery’ in quotes, because I think it’s possibly a misleading word that may trip us up when we focus on it. I’ve seen some on this forum begin replacing the word ‘recovery’ with ‘healing’ and the longer I work towards continuing forward myself...the more I think healing is a better description of what we are all working towards. I think it creates a very real, more positive, image for us to motivate ourselves with, and thought I’d share my take on it.

I think about those who have lost something physical, an arm, sight, the ability to walk...or any other part that cannot be replaced. Most are thought to ‘recover’ from such an injury...and they survive sure...but are they ever the same as before (something many of us struggle with wanting, when we begin this process? How can ‘recovery’ be used in such a case when the goal is not to recapture what has been lost, but to move forward without? Isn't this a model that aligns more closely with our own process? If not recovery...then what best describes those with physical losses, who move forward and do much more than just survive...those who adjust...who go on to do great things...perhaps achieving more after the injury, than they ever would have without it. I believe they heal. They pursue old and new goals alike...enter Olympics, marathons, become influential business leaders, inspirational speakers...a person like Roosevelt becomes The President of The United States. These people don’t recover what has been lost...they heal what remains...and this, after realizing they can never go back to the way things were (a desire/perception I know many of us grapple with)...this, after they understand they cannot physically recover what has been lost to them (perhaps the feeling many of us struggle with, a hopelessness that we’ll never be able to catch up, being too far behind in life in relation to people our own age...even if we do come out of this)...this, after they accept that their life experience will be far different than many of ours (a peace and comfort concerning what is...versus a stubborn insistence over what should be...something I believe has been very slow to take root for me).

We, with this condition, have lost things of our own...but many of these things we stand the possibility of ‘recovering’ and in this sense, I think the word fits. These are things, I believe, we share in common with those who experience a physical loss...things like self-esteem, confidence, peace of mind, a perspective of life that’s not terrifying and ugly, hope. But in order to recover these things, we must embrace the process of healing. And we have perhaps lost things that cannot be recovered as well...a specific job we left, time, the experience of enjoying past events, promotions, relationships, sleep, reaching our full potential or making the most of our talents 1, 5 or 10 years ago etc. And specifically in these areas...when recovery is not possible...it is healing that allows us to find a new job, enjoy new future events, start new relationships, explore and appreciate our talents as they are now. I do not belittle the challenges we face, our challenges are profoundly real and it is a horrible, dreadful way to experience life...fighting daily for sanity, trying to participate in life while being so distracted by fear, begging for a moment of peace and normalcy...wondering if today will be the day we can no longer take it.

But the word recovery implies to me...that we should be focused on trying to get something back...return ourselves to some state...regain ground long ago lost...past pursuits...and I believe more and more, that this is a misguided way for us to look ahead...for so much of what we need to do involves change, not the recovery of what once was. And those who have lost something physical are an example for us and have proven there is much to be achieved and accomplished in the absence of recovery...for in the presence of healing, even more can be gained. Acceptance. Adjustment. Growth. Deeper love and appreciation of self. We are all so different, how can we relay in a way that’s useful to others, what we are trying to recover? In healing though, we share many commonalities...a need to focus on the positive perspective...a stubbornness to appreciate what we have...a confidence in who we are and lack of concern for those who would think of us as less than they. A support of what we can achieve given our realities...and then a desire to have patience in pursuing an expansion of those realities. A desire and discipline to expect less, while pursuing the want of much more...being understanding when we fall short of either.

Recovery seems to me an empty promise...and it’s insignificant in light of those we know, who move on with their lives, even when recovery of something lost is impossible. And we have all experienced the loss of someone dear to our hearts...a form of physical loss in my opinion, another loss impossible to recover. We don’t recover from this, but we can and do heal. Most often, we find acceptance of this loss in one form or other...we eventually do good things for and in the memory of this loss. And if recovery is not all together a ‘bad’ term or goal and in cases where it’s possible or desirable...it seems to me one must first heal in order to recover...and thru that process...a positive recovery probably looks quite different than the original image we had of it.

I don’t know for sure that healing is the absolute best word to describe what we, with these challenges, are after...but I do think it provides a more useful direction to seek... And doesn’t the word recovery seem to fall into the black and white thinking category of thought? We expect a person is either recovered or they are not. And I think it’s something many on this forum, including myself, have instinctively battled with...because you read so many times here, a person who is doing much better but then feels the need to back track and say, “but I’m not where I want to be,” or, “but, I still have a ways to go.” In comparison, healing sounds like a process to me...all levels of healing are acceptable...any amount of healing allows us to state confidently that we are headed in a positive direction. “I am healing...I am doing better...I see improvement.” Is it necessary to backtrack on any of these statements? When speaking in terms of healing, it is the steps we take that come to the forefront as being important and encouraging...not the end result, or an attempt to recapture something lost. Where recovery is impossible for some...healing is possible for all. But it requires things like...seeing and accepting the truth (positive thinking), self-compassion, change, self-support, motivation, hope. These things are a tall order for anyone who is hurting, and an especially tall order for those who gravitate towards chronic negative thinking...the archenemy of healing...and that’s why the skills taught in this program are so important to people like us...because they build the foundation of positive thought...some of the essential firsts steps towards healing.

I thought this might be worth thinking about, since this is a word we see in at least a quarter of the threads on this message board (mine included). These are just some thoughts...not answers...but it makes me feel better and more encouraged concerning my past and where I’d like to keep heading in the future...and anything I find that reminds me of the process of things, as apposed to an end result, keeps me more motivated to take steps. I don’t know about you all...but when someone comes here and asks if it’s possible to recover from this...my first thought seems to be hmmm..."I don’t really know." When they ask to hear from those who have recovered...I always hold back...thinking..."I’m not sure I can claim to be recovered"...and this makes me feel like I’m falling short of my own goals and desires. But if you ask me if it’s possible to heal...I can say absolutely yes...I have begun healing, have healed much, and have made great strides. And while my direction is not always forward and my pace not always as fast as I’d like...I know I am continuing to heal and I am doing it with these foundations of positive thought...I am not focused on recapturing what I have lost...I am focused on moving forward, gaining confidence and self assurance, an inner calm, and I am healing...and I feel good about this and can’t afford to and don’t wish to measure it against some end result. This may just seem like an exercise in word games, but I don't think so...the words we use are important. For those who come here wondering if recovery is possible...I think I'd tell them to start with working on healing the person they are today...for those things that can be recovered will be, only thru healing those things that cannot be recovered. Take care, JOP "

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Post by New_Nana » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:06 pm

Carolyn & JOP,

Thank you for the encouragement. I really needed to hear that just now. I'm printing it out to add to my daily readings because I so completely identify with everything you've said. I have been feeling like I've lost so much that I can never recover, but your letter helps me see how to re-frame my thoughts. Thank you so much!

I'm healing too!

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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:00 am

Re: Encouragement

Post by NinjaFrodo » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:29 pm

Great Thread I thought I would Bump it back up to the top...not sure where the rest of the responses went to...there used to be more.


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