If providers are sincere about recovery of severe and persistent MI they can stop doing what aint working, and start facing the hurt they put on us, recognize system scars and take up the burden to resolve them. No justice, no recovery, period.
I’m so bottled up with frustration right now I don’t know where to start. I’ll try to find the jokes but man screw the hope, that’s my un-doing and it needs to go. Hope creates expectations that the system can’t meet, leading me to despair and inertia. And giving false hope is how the overlords keep me in line, just shut up and go with the flow, we’re getting there slow but sure, see the difference between five point and four-point restraints? Progress, not perfection.
I’ve spent the last 3 days researching volunteer organizations, I want to do something of consequence in the meat world, I have a record of volunteering going back 2 decades and I have something to contribute.
So I’ve been talking to mental health whatchamacallits– badvocates, cadvocates, shamvocates, jihadvocates, and wonder how with friends like these lunatics can ever truly run the asylum.
I can see that. Back when I was in the closet about being a mental health consumer I volunteered for positions I would not get today, though I am more mature and less impulsive now than then. So it came to pass in 1997, my final act as a patient advocate at the Austin state hospital was to leave the door unlocked when exiting the ward; a psychiatrist caught up to me on the footpath, I feigned shock and dismay, but to this day don’t know if I did it on purpose or what. I guess I couldn’t bring myself to lock those people inside then turn around and walk away freely forever. When symbolic acts are all you got, you perform statements to keep the peace with yourself, and doing that helped to make up for the months I carried those keys and the evil they stood for.
So, choose more careful this time. And being upfront about my diagnosis isn’t opening any doors, but there are hundreds of state and city agencies soliciting volunteers, and with my background and the credifying legislative gig I reckon the odds are in my favor.
But it seems I need to invoke the Freedom of Information Act to find out just what the official policies are at these agencies I’m corresponding with. I now offer my first official complaint: meet this groove for “evidence based treatment” with an equal passion for groovy transparency, I meet your buzzword and raise you a notch, a passion for transparency is not inconsistent with evidence based practice, which y’all say is all good, so no problem, nothing to hide. Maybe they don’t even know that what they are about is deception, but the fools talk of transparency like it’s a cure for something. What, hmm?
These people are dicks. I’ve been over this before, how administrators draw you in with an onerous and time-consuming application process, and keep moving the goalposts til you’re agreeing to be trained in coercive interventions, seclusion and restraint, and signing these consent forms out of exhaustion and obfuscation and hope, hope that you’re wrong about your suspicions, not really seeing what you think you see, and above all hope that you’re not a quitter with a fundamental bad attitude at heart, and it is all so skeevy and manipulative because it’s hard to get up and walk out after investing so much time and energy into paperwork, and looking at filmstrips on the history and mission of the loving public service institution.
I see it in the emails I’m reading. S-O-P: Don’t address the content in the applicant’s correspondence, feed them PR and carefully groomed horseshit.
They obviously realize the applicant is evaluating them. Does this make them nervous? Fine, it makes me nervous too, but that’s how it works when equals play square on the two-way evaluating street, each gathering data to make an informed judgment, tell the truth about what you stand for, that’s fair, and it’s going to come out eventually anyway. Truth invites examination. Liars do not and try to subvert it. What I don’t understand is what makes them think they can? Efforts to contrive a favorable opinion will itself bring out cynical questions, as in who is the agency serving? For whom does the agency advocate?
The agency, of course. I know that our lauded institutions exist for the sake of self-perpetuation, does anyone who can read at a 6th grade level not know this? And yeah, it means you basically kind of suck. Be that as it may, I am eager to work within said limited agency to advocate for the population you regularly trot out for funding appeals, since I also recognize you’re all we got.
I don’t go in looking for red flags and always make it clear upfront that I endorse psychosocial interventions, am in sympathy with the C/S/X movement, and as a dutiful American citizen believe in moving forward with the President’s New Freedom Commission official pinko commie hippie transformation recovery model. Aren’t we all?
You may think I’m deluded about that. Pushing fifty and stuck in the old school, seeing what I want to see, out of touch with the modern times. But if my ways are so over, who the hell penned the National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery?
Agencies who want to pretend this accidental miracle doesn’t exist also have to pretend that it’s not a widely disseminated public document, which patients and irksome idealists have access to it with a click of the mouse. We must never let them forget that it was created by a panel of stakeholders commissioned by the current US president.
It must have been a classic OMG moment of the Bush maladministration, judging by the speed in which it distanced itself from the document, which makes it even sweeter, in the oh shit, we let the cat out of the cage sort of way. I read it all the time, for the revenge, because it’s good government, and for the weight of a blue steel weapon I can turn point blank on the Law, tell them to look straight down the barrel and tell me why they hate America.
Meanwhile this volunteer job hunt has more challenges than ever, I just hope I can fit in. Today is not going well so feast my eyes on these fair words, they seem to be saying don’t back down.
Self-Direction: Consumers lead, control, exercise choice over, and determine their own path of recovery by optimizing autonomy, independence, and control of resources to achieve a self-determined life.
Individualized and Person-Centered: There are multiple pathways to recovery based on an individual’s unique strengths and resiliencies as well as his or her needs, preferences, experiences (including past trauma), and cultural background in all of its diverse representations.
Empowerment: Consumers have the authority to choose from a range of options and to participate in all decisions—including the allocation of resources—that will affect their lives, and are educated and supported in so doing. They have the ability to join with other consumers to collectively and effectively speak for themselves about their needs, wants, desires, and aspirations.
Holistic: Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of life, including housing, employment, education, mental health and healthcare treatment and services, complementary and naturalistic services, addictions treatment, spirituality, creativity, social networks, community participation, and family supports as determined by the person.
Non-Linear: Recovery is not a step-by-step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks, and learning from experience. Recovery begins with an initial stage of awareness in which a person recognizes that positive change is possible. This awareness enables the consumer to move on to fully engage in the work of recovery.
Strengths-Based: Recovery focuses on valuing and building on the multiple capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities, and inherent worth of individuals. By building on these strengths, consumers leave stymied life roles behind and engage in new life roles (e.g., partner, caregiver, friend, student, employee). The process of recovery moves forward through interaction with others in supportive, trust-based relationships.
Peer Support: Mutual support—including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills and social learning—plays an invaluable role in recovery. Consumers encourage and engage other consumers in recovery and provide each other with a sense of belonging, supportive relationships, valued roles, and community.
Respect: Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation of consumers —including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination and stigma—are crucial in achieving recovery. Self-acceptance and regaining belief in one’s self are particularly vital. Respect ensures the inclusion and full participation of consumers in all aspects of their lives.
Responsibility: Consumers have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery. Taking steps towards their goals may require great courage. Consumers must strive to understand and give meaning to their experiences and identify coping strategies and healing processes to promote their own wellness.
Hope: Recovery provides the essential and motivating message of a better future — that people can and do overcome the barriers and obstacles that confront them. Hope is internalized; but can be fostered by peers, families, friends, providers, and others. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process. Mental health recovery not only benefits individuals with mental health disabilities by focusing on their abilities to live, work, learn, and fully participate in our society, but also enriches the texture of American community life. America reaps the benefits of the contributions individuals with mental disabilities can make, ultimately becoming a stronger and healthier Nation.