Duncan Davidson: what recovery means to me

12th August 2015

Duncan Davidson, a  peer support worker with Dundee’s CMHT East, tells us what recovery means to him.

Duncan_Davidson_WRM2M_imageWhen I think about what Recovery means to me, I experience an array of different thoughts and emotions. Memories of others and their musings on Recovery flash through my mind. These impact upon what Recovery means to me. I feel like I have known this “Recovery” I write about for so long now and it certainly feels different to me now than it did in the past.

I want to write about its nature, I want to defend it and this is because I feel “Recovery” as a movement has given me so much. I feel like it has given me a life. When I think back to before I knew of Recovery I recall the continuing thwartedness I used to feel haunted by as I tried and failed again and again. I feel a gratitude to my manager, my peers and the workforce of SRN who promoted “Recovery” and helped generate the opportunities that Recovery provides.

The five things in my life that represent this Recovery to me would firstly be my dog “Buddy” who came into my life at a time when I had no responsibilities left outside of myself. The emotion I felt for my dog, the structure looking after him gave and the way I saw people respond when I was out walking a puppy helped.

Secondly the “People” around me who believed in me and supported me represent Recovery to me, I can think of so many people over the years I would include here and I am grateful for them. I try to be this kind of person now.

Thirdly I consider “WRAP “(Wellness Recovery Action Planning) to represent Recovery to me. I don’t think I really grasped Recovery until I attended a two day WRAP workshop in Aberdeen in 2007. I still remember arriving there and writing “Recovery is a good place to be even if the end goal of being Recovered is elusive” but throughout the course I learnt Recovery could mean more. Now I have Recovered.

The fourth thing that represents recovery to me is a “Peer Support Worker”. When I think of the peer support workers I have known and their spirits and courage it makes me feel a hope in my heart. These people are recovery walking, talking and breathing and they inspire me.

Finally I think it is a “Feeling” that represents Recovery to me. I have to sit with this strong emotion as I type these words and continue to have an impulse to wax lyrical about the concepts, theories and challenges of Recovery. I want to promote my personal opinions about Recovery. I have a collection of criticisms I have heard about Recovery and I want to answer them all back. I have a feeling of wanting to fight to hold onto to what I believe in. This is “Recovery” to me.


Read other contributions to the ‘what recovery means to me’ series