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The Upward Mobility of Recovery

The Upward Mobility of Recovery

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There is undeniable mobility to recovery. Moving forward in your path to health and healing requires inertia.

From the recovery rate, the sheer speed and velocity needed to push life’s pash setbacks, to identifying a sustainable pace, is space and feat that requires a high level of self-awareness and knowledge of your diagnosis. Depending on your diagnosis, trauma history, and triggers, you will need to get to know how to lock on to a path that will hurl you towards better health, and avoid the undertow of relapse. This is a tightrope, and walking the line necessitates discipline, wisdom, and lives experience.

While having a robust clinical prowess can help frame your weak points and strengths, only learning from lived experience will indeed forecast how you will respond to stressors, and how quickly you rally back from pitfalls and risk of relapse. Unfortunately, this means a period of trial and error. It doesn’t sound very clinical, but it is very clinical, as testing and applied experiential knowledge are most certainly apart of the clinical picture. Sometimes, we need to see what works and what doesn’t work before we can genuinely forecast the future from historical experiences.

So how can we understand the mobility that moves our recovery along in better terms? Mobility is a movement. Above all, it is the energy that pushes us past holding patterns in our recovery in which people stagnate and feel trapped, without progress or Hope. These can be the most frustrating moments in our recovery. When we just don’t seem to make any progress from week to week. Mobility makes progress possible. But mobility itself isn’t progressing. It the mechanism that drives improvement forward. 

Think of a car, and it’s the engine. The engine moves the car along from point A to point B. But depending on the course and direction, the driver takes the journey in which the vehicle takes can have several outcomes. The car can safely get to point B and experience movement towards its goal. The vehicle can crash on its way to point B and not make it to its destination. This is the stagnation, holding pattern, and deferred progress I was referring to, which all depends on the knowledge, skills, wisdom, preparedness, and things that push back against relapse. 

As drivers in our own recovery or captains of the ship, if you prefer that metaphor, we all need to steer apparent pitfalls. More importantly, we need to truly understand how far and how much we can push, continue moving forward in our recovery, without burning out our engine, or worse, getting injured along the way. I have experienced many injuries and mishaps along the way to my path to health and healing. But no harm so devastating that I couldn’t keep moving forward. Why? Because I got to know my weak points very well. When I am collapsing, I learned that to sit down and take a seat before hitting the hard cold pavement of relapse and heartache. 

 

Finding the energy to move forward in recovery can be difficult. With severe symptoms, it can carry with it, lethargy from medication side effects, or even worse, setbacks from poor decision-making from cognitive distortions that can form from delusional systems that can become fixed or solvent depending on the condition. With all of these obstacles in your path to healing, finding the right course to avoid pitfalls can be problematic. Each successive setback can be even more demoralizing. This is understandable but not a license to stop walking the path to health and healing. 

So, I recommend a few things to get mobility moving in the right direction. 

 

  1.  Learn your limits
  2.  Plan for the worst at all times
  3.  Know your weak points and nurture your strengths
  4.  Tally your victories, and each marker or indicator you are making progress
  5.  When you succeed, prepare to lose ground unless you get to know the mobility and momentum required to keep moving forward

 

Learning limits is a constant reminder of how far you can psychologically and physiologically push your body before accumulating negative feedback or outcomes. Honestly know that not being mindful of this can lead to the worst of relapses. Keeping in mind a great stretch is this awareness of your limits can be limitlessly fruitful in avoiding potentially harmful and challenging problems in your path to health. Keeping in mind, charting your victories, however small, is not only motivating but clinically helpful in raising your own awareness of what works and what doesn’t in moving the momentum of healing along. 

Finally, always remember, Hope is never truly lost until you stop believing in recovery…

About the Author

J. Peters

Bold 10 Under 10 award recipient Jacques Peters ’08, MSW ’12 . Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), therapist and disability rights advocate, Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various systems of care, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health or the city’s Department of Corrections. Jacques is the author of University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy, which he published under the pen name J. Peters in 2019, and First Diagnosis, published in 2020. Jacques refers to his stance on recovery in his journal articles as “Too big to fail.” No obstacle too big, no feat out of reach, Jacques let nothing stop him in his path to recovery and healing.
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