Asking What If? and Why Not?

I turn 55 this spring. As I roll towards 60 and in light of the ongoing pandemic I’ve been thinking about my life and my goals. I’m not a person who expects most outsiders and even some family members to understand how hard it can be living in recovery.

Disability rights advocates frown on using the word “courageous” to describe how a person negotiates living with an illness.

I think courageous is the right word to use. It’s brave to demand equity in society when you have a mental health condition. The alternative is giving up hope and believing the lies we’re told about recovery not being possible.

I understand the need to fight to be taken seriously when you have an emotional illness.

I understand what it’s like to be given crumbs from the table passed off as nutritious food.

I understand that making your voice heard can be scary.

It’s only scary if you seek other people’s approval. It’s frightening to live in a world where you’re not given compassion.

Thus my claim years ago that people living in recovery deserve a Nobel Prize for the efforts we make to live life whole and well.

As an Author and Advocate I frame any premise for what I write in terms of asking these two questions:

“What if?” and “Why Not?”

Each of us should be asking ourselves “What if?” and “Why not?” as we start to set goals and embark on achieving them.

In the next blog entry I’ll begin talking about goal setting.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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