What is Recovery?

Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.  In other words, it is a process in which someone takes steps to leave a healthy, meaningful life.

It can mean a lot of different things for different people, since everybody is at different stages of health and ability, as well as different stages of reaching full potential.  In here, we will talk about mental health recovery.

Recovery can mean different things for different people

We usually hear about recovery in terms of substance abuse, or after a surgery.  But, did you know that other mental health conditions also have a recovery period?  Since I have several of them, one of which is NOT substance abuse, I just call all my improvements in mental health recovery.  And since recovery is a life-long process, I am officially in recovery.  I think, however, there is a little caveat to the recovery process.  You have to want recovery, or it doesn’t work too well.

Recovery isn’t linear.

What is recovery?  Well, recovery isn’t linear.  One day you take a step forward, and the next day, you take 3 steps backwards, only to take 2 steps to the left and then 2 steps forward.  But all in all, the overall direction should be forward.  Setbacks and relapses are normal.

What does recovery entail?

Again, recovery depends on the stage of wellness the individual is in, but recovery can be a combination of things.  For example, medication, socialization, recreation, volunteerism, trying new things, changing thought patterns, radical acceptance, and meditation, to name a few.  Any combination of things that promotes the wellness and health of the individual, as well as striving for their full potential is a part of recovery.


A record-setting 32 suicides were reported by the Army, according to The Washington Post. While efforts have been made to reduce suicide rates, and increase soldiers’ resilience, the numbers are on par (yearly) with the numbers for 2009 and 2010.

The Army continues to study the suicide problem and its possible links to PTSD and TBI.

I really hope that the Army finds a way to reduce these numbers. The war has lasted so long, and soldiers are being deployed multiple times to battle and war-torn areas. These multiple deployments put a strain on them, as they also put a strain to their families, personal lives, and their minds.

I also hope that these studies include veterans who commit suicide AFTER they’re back or out of the military. These numbers don’t seem to be anywhere.