Thursday, December 04, 2014


Recovery cannot be measured by whether or not a person is employed or any other artificial measurement decided upon by the funding source or the provider of services.  Recovery cannot be measured by a definition decided on by a committee of persons even if that committee has a majority of persons with lived experience on it.  Recovery can have a definition for the purpose of discourse, but only the person can define it for their personal recovery journey.

Why is this so important?  Because by defining, setting measurements and time limits for persons receiving services you are taking away the person’s right to be an individual on an individual journey.  No two journeys are the same just like no two people are the same.

When I went to a sheltered workshop which was suppose to evaluate me for work, I was appalled at the process.  They pretended to have a pay scale based on production, but it was a farce.  When I went and found a job on my own (I had had plenty of practice having held over fifty jobs before I was 40.), Mountain House in Asheville, NC threw me out of their program because I did not stay at the sheltered workshop saying I was not serious about my recovery.

By all standards set by providers I am a failure.  However, I just had my 66th birthday which means I have made it a long time without going down the path that they said I must.

Person-Centered Recovery should mean that the person defines what the measurements will be and the pace.  Too bad the mental health system has yet to learn this very simple principle.

© Ed Cooper, December 4, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
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