Sometimes the decision to stay on the path to recovery is as simple as, “Why not?” Joanne Greenberg, the prize-winning author of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, remembers a conversation she had after one of several relapses in the course of her 12 year struggle with severe schizophrenia. She asked one of her carers, “Is it always going to be like this? Getting knocked down & going out to get knocked down again?” The man replied, “It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Joanne eventually completed her treatment, graduated from college, married, raised two children, taught college writing, & published 16 books.
Most people who recover from severe psychological problems combine their own inner resources with support they find in the community around them. Support for this important journey is growing in the Ann Arbor area. In addition to the usual sources (which may include family, friends, classmates, co-workers, or professionals), there is a self-help group called Hearing Voices Network, which meets weekly near the University of Michigan campus.
HVN has been active for 25 years & is now established in over 20 countries. It is based on the idea that voice-hearing (& other “symptoms of psychosis”) are a natural reaction to difficult experiences. HVN values:
- diversity of thought
- acceptance & respect
- support among those with “lived experience” of voice-hearing or unusual beliefs
- understanding the meaning or purpose of voices in your life
- creative coping
- responsibility for one’s health & well-being