Redefining Recovery

Where: Albany

When: November 13-15, 2015

What: NAMI-New York State Educational Conference

Who: Beautiful people.

How: Car, bus, train.

I’m going to write about the conference in the blog in the coming days and weeks.

First I want to give a disclaimer:

I talk now as a family member of a loved one with a severe illness. Thus I’m biased towards achieving functional outcomes as a determinant of quality of life. This is how I differ from “consumers” in the so-called recovery movement.

I’ve seen how individuals are unable to function without getting the right treatment. For a lot of us to function treatment must be comprised of medication and therapy.

I respect that other people have different beliefs. I’m able to listen to them and understand them without attacking them. Although I usually get attacked even when I do this.

Yes: I align with the mothers and fathers of adult kids with chronic schizophrenia. I align with family members even though I recovered past tense and their kids have not yet recovered.

My life got better after I was diagnosed with schizophrenia; and yet I don’t side with “consumers.” I align myself with family members. You got that right. I’m not a fan of the “let it all hang out, don’t take your meds, and be psychotic” approach that advocates advise clients to adopt.

I’m also biased because I’ve been in remission over 23 years. And being in remission certainly makes it easier for you to live your life without the rampant hell of revolving in and out of hospitals every year for decades.

You see where I stand.

The topic of the educational conference was “Redefining Recovery.”

It’s a topic I’m passionate about so stay tuned tomorrow and in the coming days for reportage on the conference.

Redefining recovery: all I’m for it.

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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