Comments by FlickGrey

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  • Jay, you were missed at Mad Studies in Lancaster!

    I do some workshops problematising recovery (it is (becoming) the dominant paradigm in Australia and I like a definition of recovery by an Australian survivor, Bill Moon – “A good life, as determined by me.” And yes, as some have noted – for many of us this is something we’ve never had to “re”-cover.

    I also wanted to add that I think this recovery focus is often misattunement to where people are at – people are in pain, but service providers often desperately want to be “helpful,” to “make a difference in people’s lives,” but are unable to sit with the shit of it, and to engage in the sociopolitical action that is needed in response to this shittyness. I had a friend suicide earlier this year – she was poor, queer, had a disability and was constantly negotiating heterosexism, ableism, discrimination, and chronic pain (she couldn’t’ afford to get the injections she needed for pain-relief), and struggled to find meaningful employment (work that didn’t make her want to die). When she disclosed that she was suicidal, she was carted off to hospital where they demanded “recovery goals” and got her to do all sorts of Recovery-oriented paperwork. I honestly think it was the last straw – to be in such desperate pain and to be met with this perky, do-gooder stuff, instead of someone able to sit with the despair and to recognise the structural issues. Hospitals pride themselves on being “recovery-oriented” like it’s a gold star for being very good. And people die. I sincerely wish she’d been given the money that was wasted on this “recovery-oriented” hospital stay. Perhaps then she could’ve had some space to figure out where to next…

  • Hey Sasha,

    So, I recognise it’s been a long time since you wrote this, but I’ve only just now read it, and it really resonated for me, where my thinking is at the moment.

    My question for you is this – how do you navigate the class dimensions of this issue (nourishing this Collective Human Potential Movement)?

    To give you some context to what I’m asking – my life has been shaped radically by both the radical mental health movement (I am a psych survivor, I’m involved in peer healing communities, my history is as an activist, I am part of critical consumer academia, Intentional Peer Support and the Hearing Voices networks) and by the contemporary manifestations of the Human Potential movement (I do yoga, I meditate, I do Kriya breathing exercises, I see a Gestalt therapist and have found it to be the profoundly healing professional support, etc). These two are related for me – my continuing well-being depends on these spiritual, healing practices, and these represent real, healing alternatives for me to psychiatric “treatment.” But there’s *such* a disjunct between them in my social community – the former (psych communities) tend to be more more diverse and more working class, while the latter tend to be *very* white and middle class. My yoga studio, for example, would not exactly be the most welcoming place for a hearing voices group!! And I pay a truck tonne for these supports. Critiques of “New Age” stuff are often right on the money (pardon the pun).

    I’m also in a tiny community here in Australia. I’m interested in your thoughts (or anyone else’s reading this). Thanks!