Recovery,Cure, Mental Health,Resilience, Normal
Illustration by Asaf Hanuka
The idea of ‘recovery’ is a funny way of saying that we must not be shaped by what’s happening to us or around us or inside us. That can hardly ever be the case. Recovery implies getting back to an earlier state, a previous way of being. Sure, that can be the case for a physical injury or with our email addresses. But as thinking, feeling, social animals we are bound to be changed in big or small ways as life takes its course.
It was first in a training workshop that I was made to consider the folly with gearing all therapeutic work towards ‘recovery’ to a previous state, an earlier way of being.
Why were we assuming that the best way to cope with things was to erase the impact of most recent even painful experiences? As though it were not part of us.
Research on emotional resilience suggests that it is the ability to adapt to change that makes one able to cope with tough circumstances rather than the ability to return exactly to as we were before a significant change occurred.
Adaptability then leaves room for unique ways of being in the face of difficulties. It does not hold us prisoner in the image of yesterday. It allows for flexibility in being. It looks like you and me, just doing what it takes to feel safe and comfortable and easy.