Friday, November 27, 2020

Comments by KCrowley

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • I love your post, Alice. I love your way of writing and your thinking. I am relatively new to this site, and this makes me want to read more!

    That said, I see things in a different way. 🙂

    I don’t like to use the word recovery in terms of health. Some people don’t have the option to retain a prior state of health and/or well-being. Perhaps one day they will, but people living with chronic pain, HIV/AIDS and any number of other things, often can’t (at least yet!) return to a prior state of health. And some people have nowhere to go back to, with trauma, pain and trouble having presented early in life.

    So, unless recovery means something different than our current definition, it doesn’t work universally. And if it does mean something different? Then what does it mean? I keep hearing about recovery and the recovery model and recovery programs. But what constitutes recovery? And what is the recovery model? In some cases the use of the word is actually a reflection of shifts taking place and things moving in a more humane direction. But in some cases it is a matter of simply adopting new language while doing the same old thing.

    I think that recovery means different things to different people, and sometimes even to the same person, over time. I think that each person should decide what recovery means to them, and when they have achieved it. And while I understand your thinking, I think the idea that recovery is a lifelong process is an overwhelming and exhausting one. Additionally I think that if we are to create real, lasting, systems change, we need to be able to identify and include in every single contract, specific healing outcomes that are required, and then not stop there, but actually hold the system accountable. We need to require (and contract for) services that recognize, support and sustain healing.

    The system, very sadly is all too often driven by money, when it comes to the big picture. If we attach to the funds paid out, healing outcomes expected and then we actually require fidelity, quality and accountability, I think we can actually create change.

    Kathleen

  • Sandra, thank you for taking the time to respond. I too have met people experiencing the same kind of things you describe, making the same kind of choices. I have never thought they didn’t want support, though. I think one of the issues is that often people are offered (an that is putting it nicely, sometimes it isn’t only offered but painfully and forcefully given) “support” they don’t want, are afraid of, and/or they feel won’t help. I think engaging people and inspiring people can be a wonderful beginning to healing. This doesn’t require any agreement on the source of the pain, any agreement on what to do about it, any agreement on…. anything. It means setting judgment aside, not assuming people don’t want support based on anything you are observing or because you don’t yet know what to do. I have met thousands of people experiencing/living as you describe. And I have seen thousands of people make meaningful and lasting change, simply as a result of being treated with respect, love, and a belief in their unique potential. Albert Schweitzer talked about activating the healer that resides within. I think we can all do that for each other. Even if we have no idea what to do for someone, what we feel they should do, or how things can possibly work out. If we meet them where they are, treat them with respect, seek to build a relationship with them, and seek to inspire them, truly amazing things happen. And it is, frankly, just so much easier and so much more enjoyable than stressing out about what in the world to do. Inspiring people to solve their own problems, and make their own best choices works best for everyone, in the long run, I believe. I appreciate you openly sharing your journey here, and appreciate there being a site for all kinds of discussions and respectful disagreement. We can all keep disagreeing, agreeing and learning from each other, and changing our minds together, which is really nice.

  • Oh goodness, I apologize for my messy comment. Hopefully I have cleaned it up a bit, below!

    Hi Sandra, I am new to MIA, not because I wasn’t aware of the site, but because my life circumstances have prevented me from being involved. (And even now my time here is highly limited.) But from what I read, it seems that you are not only personally growing and changing as a result of your experience here, but you are helping others do so as well.

    In reading your post, there is something you said in your original post and then commented on a bit, in response to a comment related to it, that jumped out at me. You said–

    “Engaging with someone who is in distress but is not interested in getting any help remains the the biggest conundrum for me.”

    I would really appreciate it, if you are willing, you talking more about why you feel this way? My own experience is really completely the opposite. I have never met any one who is not interested in feeling better, healing, moving forward. My experience is that people in pain, want to be out of pain. Always. But people sometimes think this is not the case because people may not want the specific “help” that is being offered.

    I would really appreciate hearing what makes you feel this way, especially because you identified this remains the biggest conundrum for you.

    Kathleen

  • Hi Sandra, I am new to MIA, not because I wasn’t aware of the site, but because my life circumstances have prevented me from being involved.(And even now my time here is highly limited.) But from what I read, it seems that you are not only personally growing and changing as a result of your experience here, but you are helping others do so as well.

    In reading your post, there is something you said in your original post and then commented on a bit, in response to a comment related to it, that jumped out at me. You said–

    “Engaging with someone who is in distress but is not interested in getting any help remains the the biggest conundrum for me.”

    I would really appreciate, if you are willing, you talking more about why you feel this way? My own experience is really completely the opposite. I have never met any one who is not interested in feeling better, healing, moving forward. My experience is that people in pain, want to be out of pain. Always. But people sometimes think this is not the case because people may not want the specific “help” that is being offered, for one reason, because what is being offered. lso there are likely as many other reasons as there are people.

    I would really appreciate hearing what makes you feel this way, especially because you identified this remains the biggest conundrum for you.

    Kathleen

  • I agree, I think it can be so hugely exhausting, frustrating, heartbreaking and often seemingly HOPELESS to try to impact public mental health. I am specifically referring to your statement,

    I admire anyone with the patience, to set foot in the world of government psychiatry, and try and rehumanize the approach somewhat.

    While I never set out to attempt to impact the system, and in fact, initially wanted to stay as far away as I could from it, I’ve now spent over fifteen years, quietly and patiently (okay sometimes HUGELY IMPATIENTLY), working toward systems change. Real, sustainable change.

    I’ve learned so much, as all of us do who hold this vision and do this work.

    Two things I wanted to mention here are 1) I learned that so very many of the people working in the system are also frustrated, saddened and really HURTING as a result of the system, and they want to see change as well, or perhaps they no longer envision change, and they are simply surviving, rather than thriving (as people so often “served” by the system are, and they need hope and vision and vehicles for change, as well! I believe we will best be served by seeking to harness everyone’s desire and ability and vision and expertise, rather than building walls as to what stakeholder group we find ourselves. And 2) I believe we so desperately need a multitude of forums, opportunities and the sheer desire and willingness to disagree, discuss respectfully highly differing opinions and viewpoints…… and still keep talking, engaging and sharing.

    I am new to Mad in America, and so deeply appreciate that Robert Whitaker, and all of the rest of have created such a place.

    Just reading through the little bits and pieces that I have, I am appreciative of you all.

    I apologize that this comment is so late, I just joined today! And also for my mini-rant. I used your lovely statement for a springboard. 🙂

    Kathleen