01 Apr Karen’s Recovery Story
Language defines us. I do not allow definitions such as “Severe & Persistent Mentally Ill” define myself because it denies for me and those I advocate for the existence of hope. Recovery is real, achievable, and possible yet there are varying levels of challenges and recovery not under our control. Under that continuum the dynamics we encounter as persons with unique gifts and abilities are ever changing as they are for those who are purportedly “normal.” I often will demonstrate for those I teach that life is not linear. More often than not, it is a “one step forward, two steps back” process for everyone regardless of any genetic predisposition, chemical imbalance, or socioeconomic status.
Best Practices demonstrate that behavioral health is essential to our overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. I am devoting the rest of my life to the cause of ending stigma for those with mental health challenges and other injustices to persons who must be at the table for an inclusive dialogue that is culturally competent to even begin. We can only break the stereotypes of discrimination and stigma with purposeful relevant disclosure.
I want everyone to know there is always Hope. It is eternal. I’ll end with an old Recovery Movement mantra, “Nothing About Us, Without Us.” And begin with a new Recovery Movement mantra, “Recovery is Beautiful.” It truly is.
Thank you for listening,
Karen Curlis L.S.W.