Having A Successful Recovery

I’m all for achieving a so-called normative definition of recovery: a job, an apartment or house, and positive and nurturing relationships.

Yet more than this I think one thing counts above all else:

To me success has nothing to do with how much money a person makes or whether others accord them status in society.

More so success involves treating other people with dignity, acting ethical and compassionate–if a person does these things, they have a successful life.

Our bank account balance should not determine our self-worth. How other people treat us should not influence how we feel about ourselves.

I’ve suddenly and quickly gotten over the fact that if you’re successful in a normative way other people might be jealous of you or shun you instead of being impressed and wanting to pick your brain for how to do it.

Yet I make the case for dreaming big instead of settling for average or ordinary. It’s just as easy to dream big and set a challenging goal as it is to make an excuse for why you can’t do something.

Having a successful recovery to me is as simple as doing things to shift the needle to the left of the dial so that you can live life in a balanced and organic way.

Having a successful recovery to me is as simple as each of us deciding to take action to do the things that give us joy and are meaningful to us.

In this regard I do understand that settling for average or ordinary is perfectly fine for a lot of other people. It comes down to choosing for ourselves the path we want to go down.

Having a successful recovery demands that we collaborate with our treatment providers as equals in developing effective treatment.

Having a successful recovery does not look the same for everyone. Your version of well is not going to be the same as mine.

That’s the beauty of recovery: it’s an individual life plan that each of us can choose and develop.

Having a full and robust life is possible. If you ask me it’s something to shoot for.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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