Is it the right word?

Recovery’ is a conversation that bubbles up in the studio every so often. It often pops up because it means so many different things to people and when life is hard, there can often be anxiety and frustration about what it means. We can have our own expectations of recovery, and then everyone else around us has a version for us. Matching these ideas up is the challenge.

In 2017 we had a series of conversations to try and define the vision and aims of Designs in Mind – what difference do we want to make? was recovery part of what we striving for?

If you break your leg or get the flu- you recover. If you have an addiction you can be in recovery. There is an end point, a level, something tangible where there is shared understanding both for the individual and everyone around. With mental health it feels different. The lines are blurred.

‘I feel like I am in a transition phase till the next relapse, if I have another glitch then I will be back to square one. It is something I manage rather than recover from.’

However at the same time living with mental health challenges and knowing there will be periods of mental illness throughout life, does not need to stop us from living life.

The stories everyone shared about what difference Designs in Mind had made to their lives were about everyday changes- being able to open the curtains, leaving the house, going to the supermarket, meeting children from school. starting a different class, talking to the neighbours, volunteering, working. All these things were individual and meant so much- being able to do something that had been so impossible. We defined this as, living life. The use of the word ‘recovery’ became unimportant.

Together we are finding ways to live life.

Throughout May we would like to share thoughts, ideas, journeys in relation to recovery- knowing there is no right or wrong. It is part of our #SmashingStigma conversation, sharing stories about living with mental health challenges. We will be sharing more stories from the studio and guest blogs from new supporters and friends.

If you have a story to share please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

On February the 11th 2018 we launched a crowdfunding campaign. We want to start a conversation about mental health that is powerful. No more treading on eggshells. We are not invisible, We do not want to be hidden away. Our work in the studio and shop is #SmashingStigma every day, and now we are going to be a little noisier.

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As part of the campaign we are also looking for more blogs about mental health stigma, so please get in touch if you have a story to share.