National Recovery Month 2017

September is National Recovery Month. I’ve been in recovery for 30 years now.

The Sixth Edition of Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. has good news about schizophrenia recovery at the 30-year milestone:

“In most patients with schizophrenia, the ‘positive’ symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, and thinking disorders decrease over the years. A person who was severely incapacitated at age twenty-five by these symptoms may have only residual traces of them at age fifty.”

Long-term studies corroborate that the future can be rosier.

Yet forget the studies and listen to me–I’m 52–and I have a better life now than I did when I was 22.

It’s a myth that most people diagnosed with SZ die 25 years earlier. A good friend of mine is 73 and still alive and kicking. He rose up to become the CEO of corporations even though he was diagnosed when he was 13 and has taken medication since then.

I urge you to think for yourself about what is possible for you or your loved ones.

Other people might be proud to be Mad, and that’s their choice.

No–I’m not proud to have a diagnosis. As the years have rolled by, I’d take back every gift I was ever given if I could live one day without this illness.

No–I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I wouldn’t wish this on any human being living on earth.

Yet have no fear: the best is yet to be. I’m fond of saying that today is how it is and tomorrow can be better.

I’m living proof that you can have a better life when you’re older than you had when you were first diagnosed.

It takes time to get here. Expecting or wanting quick results will set you up to fail.

Now I find myself wanting to go back and talk about the early stages of recovery, using my experiences as an example.

You have no idea when you’re 22 and first diagnosed that one day you’ll be 52 and you’ll have a great life.

I’m here to tell you that this is possible.

There’s hope and healing for whatever you’re in recovery from.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. 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 a fitness buff.

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