The Revisionist✍️

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Far too many stories and firsthand accounts of recovery are terminal and end with a cure or picturesque life for the consumer of services or “sick” person. This recovery narrative is different. This is a story about struggle, ongoing collateral pushback from friends, and internalized self-doubt.

Chronic illness, either rooted in psychiatric or medical symptoms, can be a lifelong road with many critical junctures for risk of relapse, suffering, and systemic issues with access to treatment. I hope my story sheds light on not only the aspects of healing that serve as hope to readers but also the plight of the consumer riddled with making ongoing difficult life choices due to the severe chronicity of their symptoms.

After finally returning home from college, after my discharge from the state hospital center in upstate New York, I began my long journey. This is a journey of heartache, despair, and all the negative emotions conjured by a chronic mental health disorder. Knowing full well that without applying the right measures and putting a plan in place I would be at risk of further issues, I applied the learning lessons of my past to my situation today. This is that story. After graduating and eventually becoming a social worker and disability rights advocate, I learned how to live with my symptoms (and, simultaneously, despite them).

I am Jacques Peters, and I will explain to those reading this story that chronic means just that. Ongoing, and a continuum of symptoms that will wax and wane as this story unfolds. These symptoms will impact the very fabric and quality of my life. My story is not unique, but it is largely untold—it is taboo for people in recovery to admit that when there is no cure, the only thing left to do is never stop fighting for life. As this book unfolds, the result of not stopping fighting, to never giving up, will become obvious to the reader and a warning to everyone with a longstanding and chronic illness to stay in treatment and never resign or surrender. The implications of doing will hopefully warn the reader in vivid terms to keep close to healing, even if a full cure is impossible.

About the Author

J. Peters

J. Peters is the Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health Affairs.

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient J. Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, 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.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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