Feedback from our Wellness & Recovery Center members
Our Center (On Our Own of Montgomery County, Maryland) held a discussion group to provide feedback on this definition of recovery.
There was strong consensus among the participants that "recovery" as it applies to those with substance abuse issues and those with mental health issues are quite different and therefore that it is conceptually confusing to link the two.
Some participants also felt that the definition is (perhaps purposefully) overly vague, nebulous and non-specific, and therefore not very useful, at least by itself.
I think it would be useful for SAMHSA to extend the deadline for comments and to encourage consumers to come together as we did, to discuss this in order to provide individual and collective feedback.
Wendy Hestick commented
Recovery has a time line, with a long term decision, in which one must feel the desire to contribute to one's care of self, to participate in one's treatment, that is questioning doctors and researching what one's medication is doing or not doing for them. One has to make a commitment to seek out trauma centered care or talk therapy or both, commit to eating all things that will benefit ones health and to also commit to exercising the body to help heal and relax the mind and body. Once that level of habit or committment has been reached and maintained, one feels better and one is on his or her way to recovery. As the body continues to receive this care, whether emotional, somatic or psychotropic, coupled with daily exercise, one will recover. One will actually see the need to reduce or adjust psychotropic drugs. Again the first step is commitment to recovery, then a on going plan, a life change. One must be aware that just like the legs atrophy if one is a paraplegic ones body atrophies if one does not use one body. The most active people who are mentally ill are the ones who can actually reach their goal of recovery. The trick is maintenance because like substance abuse without a plan, one will slip and it only takes a good dose of stress, lack of good restorative sleep or a trauma, and one can slip.