Thoughts and ideas from Dude With Sjogrens
What is Recovery?
December 27, 2019 at 3:00 AM
by Randy Klein
Photo: Kylli Kittus,

Most of the people who have been through a major trauma in their life, tend to focus on recovery at some point. Recovery does not always look like we expect.

There are many forms of recovery. These can include: recovery from addiction, accidents, trauma, loss, grief, health conditions, and others.

Recovery is not always restoration.

For a person who has had a trauma that has resulted in an amputation, recovery is not the return of their original missing limb, it is the point where they are able to return to their life. Their life may be different, but recovery is getting past the amputation and getting back to their life even if it is a new one. It's about being able to move forward from the point of trauma.

For alcoholics and addicts, recovery is a the process of getting sober, and staying sober. It’s not a return to their former state, because alcoholism and the events that led up to it are not what they want to return to. There may never have been a happier time. Recovery is new ground, they don't want to go back.

People recover from grief: the loss of the ones that they love and respect. They find a way to honour their memory and to move on.

All of these things are very different from the recovery that we may expect: where something that is lost is found and is fully restored.

Can there be recovery if we don't get better? I believe it to be true, and it will define how I move forward.

It may be a life of constant recovery. It may hinge on an acceptance of things the that change, and then adapting. Every person will go through trauma of some sort and will age in their lifetime. Sometimes we can recover to where we were before, and sometimes we cannot.

I was struck and dragged by a car when I was nineteen. I was revived, but they didn’t think that I would make it through the night.

They had to pump me full of blood transfusions, and there were fears that there would be amputations. I was paralyzed for a time. I had bones held together with metal plates, screws and wires. Then I had bone and skin grafts, along with other multiple surgeries.

It took me three years to recover; that was thirty years ago. That was when I could do some of the things that I used to be able to do. There were many things that I could no longer do.

I went through the following: Wheelchair, walker, hand crutches, crutches, canes, and then I threw away my single cane. I had to learn to walk again. I still walk with a limp at times and deal with balance issues, and live with the consequences of surviving a lethal car accident.

I was given a clean bill of health, but I live every day with the pain and consequences of my injuries from the accident. Recovery, they called it.

There have been losses and there has been gains made since that time, but I try not to focus on the losses unless they make me stronger. I have to remind myself from time to time that I have recovered in so many ways from what I was.

I also lived with unknown health conditions prior to, during, and after the accident.

Every day comes with effort, and is a day of recovery from my efforts.

Many of us will live with chronic diseases that seems to control what we can and can't do. We can always look for the things that we can still do, no matter how simple. Hope.

Living with chronic illness or pain is a process of change, possible acceptance, and the ability to find a way to always move forward through this change.

Recovery can mean so many different things to different people. But it does start with hope.

I hope that you find that this article has helped you. Feel free to share with friends, and in groups. I am not a medical professional, and all information provided is on an "As is" basis.

Be well.