Sunday, 6 July 2008

What Recovery Means To Me - Mark Saunders

Whilst Dave is away sunning himself in Northern Australia, he has relinquished control of his blog to Kevin and I (Lucie). We thought long and hard about what we could do (and the possible consequences of some of those actions!) and finally decided that we would do a series of blogs entitled ‘What Recovery Means To Me’.

Over the next week and a half we are going to talk to a number of people who are in recovery, and provide a platform from which they can share their views and experiences with you. We strongly encourage others to post comments on these blogs, and share with us what recovery means to you – the good, the bad and the ugly!

We hope that this blog series will encourage discussion and debate about what recovery means, and how the experiences of people in recovery can be used to help others find their path to recovery.

The ‘What Recovery Means To Me’ series will kick off with the views of Wired In volunteer, Mark Saunders. Once you have read Marks views on recovery please take some time to look around his filmed and written work in Our Community.

P.S. The latest Wired In film footage has been launched, this week focusing on people's views on waiting lists for treatment.


tim1leg said...

Mark I enjoyed reading what recovery means to you and your final line " you are not alone" no my friend we are no longer alone, no one other than the addict can understand the depth that this aloneness means in active addiction. I thank what ever power saw fit to changing this aloneness for me and long may your non aloneness continue. Big Hug x

David Clark said...

Wow Mark! Your piece really moved me. I send you Broome sunshine and look forwrad to seeing you again. David

Anonymous said...

Mark: a powerful piece of writing. I liked what you said about the stigma addicts face and how nobody chooses this life. Addiction is true suffering. Your honesty about how difficult recovery can be at times is appreciated.

Being part of a bigger group of recovering addicts certainly helps us move away from the lonliness and isolation that define addiction.

I also like your acknowledgement that in recovery it is important to remember that our identity is more than just that of an addict. While it is true to say 'my name is ... and I'm an addict', addicts are also partners, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, plumbers, nurses, carers, etc. While we forget that particular part of our identity at our peril less we go back to active addiction, it's certainly healthy to see ourselves as whole and rounded people.

Great stuff!

Brent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent said...

Dear Mark,

Just read your piece from 'the prof speaks' daily emails. There are 2 things that particularly excited me about your thoughts on recovery.

The first is how you see that it's not just the 'drugs' that one needs to recover from- the drugs, as I am beginning to understand, is just the start of a catalogue of addiction issues that need to be addressed.

And secondly I'm encouraged by your healthy addiction to truth in EVERYTHING. It's so key to a healthy, life changing recovery.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. They gave the lift I needed on a rainy Monday in London working in the field.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Mark.

you hit the nail right when you emphasis the need for change, and given that most of us are resistant to making changes, recovery is never easy.

I hold a number of views on recovery, which when combined are far too lengthy, so I hope that over the next week or so, at the risk of boring, or irritating others, I can add a few thoughts every day. Here goes.

A personal view on recovery: Part 1

It seems odd to this writer that the current focus on recovery, together with the various emerging definitions, makes no mention of healing. Given that recovery from any affliction is unlikely to occur without healing, such an omission is a fundamental error.

The healing process, in the case of addiction, begins when we accept that the mental, physical and spiritual benefits we derive from mind altering drugs, are outweighed by the mental, physical and spiritual* harms they inflict. Since the legal status of such drugs does not in anyway influence their capacity for either benefit or harm, it is irrelevant whether they are prescribed, or proscribed.

The acceptance that the total harms from our use of mind altering drugs outweigh any perceived benefits requires a change in our outlook and attitude to life. Whilst it follows that without such a change, the healing process is impeded; it is unrealistic to anticipate that such a change is going to occur overnight. In the vast majority of successful recoveries, it has proven to be a gradual process.

*The phrase spiritual in the above context has nothing to do with religion, but rather the internal discomfort and conflict, we experience whenever our actions contravene our own personal belief of what is wrong or right.

tim1leg said...

yes Peter my first reaction when reading the recovery statement from the ukdpc was CONTROL eh what CONTROL and where does it mention Healing??? anyway its there now!

Anonymous said...

Yes tim. In fact it said 'sustained control' but failed to define what that meant. an hour? a day? a week? a month?

My personal opinion is that they are perveting the concept of recovery into an advocacy for ongoing use.