"...my definition of recovery is that you wouldn’t want to be anyone else other than who you are."
(taken from http://www.mentalwellnesstoday.com/Community/MentalWellnessBlog/BlogPost/tabid/406/Article/251/share-your-recovery-stories-with-us.aspx)
Recovery is about learning that you have a choice: You can choose to be hopeful rather than hopeless: you can choose to act from faith rather than react from fear; and you can choose to enjoy life rather than merely survive it.
Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. –J.K. Rowling
"hope can flourish when you believe that there are things you can do to improve your situation."
"However, it is probably safe to say that anyone who has achieved some degree of recovery hasn’t done so without significant change—whether it be changes in lifestyle, diet, self-care, activity level, spiritually, or even emotional state."
"learning to live well with (disease) doesn’t just mean doing less; often it means doing it differently. It’s an essential process of developing meaning in your experience and recreating a sense of yourself and your life. Living with a chronic illness like FM allows us to clarify our priorities and redefine our values. Respect for the journey and who we have become brings meaning to our suffering."
After reading all of the above several things occur to me. One is that the idea of recovery in terms of no longer having the illness must be pretty much abandoned --although one must always leave room for God to work a miracle should he so desire. But it must be understood that in order to carve out a life of any kind of quality, it will take some real conscious determined actions and ways of thinking. It will mean that there must come an understanding and an acceptance of that understanding that things are never again going to be the way they were prior to your illness. And as long as we expect or seek them to be, we are going to be chronically disappointed and constantly upset. Next we must understand that to carve out a life that has any kind of quality it is going to take some work and some focused actions. We are going to have to change the way we think as well as the way in which we live on a daily basis. We are going to have to make room for our bodies' tolerance for activity, needs for rest, management of pain, and the side effects of medicines just to name a few of the areas that our illness affects.
Secondly --and this is so crucial--it is important that we retain a firm identity of who we are APART from the illness. When we become our illness then we are not good for much of anything but a nursing home. Friends and family will not want to have much to do with us. This is a great huge challenge for someone who is homebound and alone with their illness 99% of the time, as I am. It means I need to make conclusive decisions to retain my interest in people and in activities and in hobbies and doing things I love to do. IF I do not struggle to retain some semblance of a personality I will be very very lonely as people will do all they can to avoid me. This has been the area of greatest challenge for me and it is one that I need to take by the horns and just DO.
Self pity is a NO NO. We must swear to ourselves from the get go that, while we will be kind and understanding to ourselves we will make NO room for self pity. This is the shortest path to being alone that I know of. And Bill MacPhee's words play here. We should seek to choose to be ourselves above all else; not desiring or envying the lives of others; not envying ourselves of our past lives....but must press on to take hold of this life that God has laid out for us.
And herein is hope. That God who has begun this work in us will bring it to completion. He will refine us until we shine like a fine diamond, often sparkling most against the dark background of our circumstance.
The article entitled Hope and Acceptance is found at this URL: http://livingwithcfs.com/cfs-fibromyalgia-hope-acceptance/
The other article on recovery that I wrote is found at http://cynthialottvogel.blogspot.com/2012/04/recovery-in-balance.html