I was talking to somebody last week about the concept of recovery, which is defined in many different ways, including these (thanks to my old friend, Google):
1. a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
“signs of recovery in the housing market”
synonyms: recuperation, convalescence
antonyms: relapse, deterioration
2. the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
“a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, reclamation, recouping, redemption, recuperation
Something else that showed up, in my Googling of “recovery”:
Here’s a quote from that 2011 on-line article, from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
A new working definition of recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders is being announced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The definition is the product of a year-long effort by SAMHSA and a wide range of partners in the behavioral health care community and other fields to develop a working definition of recovery that captures the essential, common experiences of those recovering from mental disorders and substance use disorders, along with major guiding principles that support the recovery definition.
The new working definition of Recovery from Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders is as follows:
A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
So where was I, before googling “recovery”?
Oh, yes, the conversation I had at work last week. During that same conversation, we also talked about the Ascending Coil. The Ascending Coil — which I first mentioned on Day 6 here — is an often useful way to look at the ways we humans learn and grow. That is, we tend to go over similar territory and lessons, like this:
rather than learning in a linear, building-perfectly-on-what-we-already-know way, like this (which some of us might expect from ourselves):
If those two images, above, look familiar, that might be because (1) the first one is a Slinky, which some of you are familiar with, and (2) I’ve already shown these same images in another post, here.
So this is what I wanted to say, today:
When I was having this conversation, last week, about the process of recovery and the Ascending Coil, I saw something differently.
I saw the word recovering* like this:
Re-covering similar ground, as we grow.
Re-covering similar problems, sometimes with a sense of despair: “Will this ever end? Will I ever learn? Will things ever work out for me?”
Re-covering similar lessons, learning something new each time (even if it feels like we’re not learning well — or quickly — enough).
Sometimes, as we re-cover that ground, it might seem like it’s the “same old same old”…. like there’s “nothing new under the sun”**.
This is what I saw under the sun, yesterday, in a place I’ve been many, many times before:
It’s all about recovering, isn’t it?
Thanks to SAMSHA, slinkies, sunsets, and to you, too, for reading today.
* I could have seen the word “recovery” like this: “re-covery”, but since “covery” is not a word, that would have been the end of that.
** I’ve been thinking a lot about “clichés” this year. For more about that, see here.