What constitutes recovery is an interesting issue, in my own recovery I took the role of it as a personal journey fraught with mishaps and then resolutions. Personally I wanted my recovery to be heroic, the fallen who will rise and conquer. It is a bit misconstrued to forget the role of other agents in my recovery. Even though I felt the need to create myself in recovery as in the ways I have in which, such as in the way I have painted some murals or presented my art work the role of government, pharmaceutical companies and factors human and non-human have made the journey easier. The fact that I managed to stay in employment was mainly due to the effective application of existing anti-psychotic medication and a fast referral process. I wasn’t stuffed around basically, my issue was assessed and a referral was speedy. My psychiatrist was professional and got it basically right at a critical moment. The other issues were changing medications after four years when my own independence lead to poor management decisions. Luckily the issue was resolved but due to a process of going backwards due to my own ignorance though I can’t blame myself as I didn’t realise the range of physical symptoms associated with schizophrenia. The main factors in my own recovery have been due to the medication blocking symptoms so in general I hardly have any occurrences and I personally feel that my decision to stop drinking alcohol has been the best personal decision I have made. Even in individuals not effected by psychosis or psychotic symptoms can be greatly effected by alcohol, it isn’t that alcohol is the main problem but it inhibits anti-psychotic medications for those with psychosis and creates problematic behaviours in normal individuals. With my medication if I want to drink alcohol I have to manage it and that is fine but the issues I would have after a night of drinking which with my initial diagnoses I continued to do were difficult. If I could describe the symptoms as either active or inactive the addition of alcohol made the symptoms active or more active in sleep than without alcohol and that is why now due to my abstinence from alcohol I rarely have active symptoms while asleep or awake. Every month or so I may hallucinate some sounds but it is rare and only lasts for a split second. The other issue is avoiding non-prescription medications with amphetamines as an active ingredient such as cold and flu tablets.
I don’t agree that we should feel that it is a personal journey because that plays into the hands of political types trying to minimise public spending even though I have painted that picture literally to rally support for my art or create a heroic trajectory. Heroes are for movies and art as a theme but the reality is more complex. I read a lot of books on storytelling and movie plots to understand those particular constructions and feel it is valid to help yourself deal with issues but I take my hat off to the complexity and effective treatments made available to everyone. It isn’t about being a hero it is about recovery but whatever story you concoct or little things that help can only be of benefit. I did it all on medicare and I feel public services have been good to me so lets keep these services working and continue to support governments that understand the importance of universal healthcare. We aren’t running a business we are providing an environment that is conducive to healthy lives and the best outcomes. We need a surplus of best outcomes.