The sharing of one’s “Recovery Story” is the foundation upon what the rest of peer support is built. A Recovery Story is the telling of the personal journey the Peer Support Specialist has been on in order to reach the point of health and integration into the community, or whatever “recovery” means to that person. A Recovery Story is different than a story about one’s illness.
A story simply about one’s illness concentrates on the negative aspects of mental illness and only about the struggles. A Recovery Story shares the challenges faced, sometimes the tragedies, at times the struggles with symptoms or diagnoses, but it leads to a point of positive conclusion. A Recovery Story shared gives hope to another individual, and lets another person know that one should never give up on the possibilities that life has to offer.
I share parts of my story every day; I share the good and the bad experiences. I share the tragedies and the triumphs. I share what I did or how I reacted in certain circumstances. I tell about the symptoms that I exhibited in the most difficult times of my illness. Sharing this story puts the other person at ease and lets them know it is okay to open up and talk about their own experiences. Every once in a while, it may give another person hope that it is not only possible to get better, but it is expected that they will eventually live a full and productive life.
Rebecca Coursey, KPS
Peer Support Specialist