Everyone knows I refuse to say I live “in recovery” as a person with Type II Bipolar disorder.
“You can’t recover from a chronic health condition,” I say. “You live with it. You manage it. It’s like diabetes. If I had diabetes and lost enough weight to stop using insulin, no one would say I had ‘recovered’ from it. I would have just managed it really well.”
There are people I know who use extremely restrictive diets, along with exercise, to manage their bipolar disorder. My Boston doctor helped me with meds when depressions became unbearable. North Carolina doctors instead put me through seven years of pharmaceutical experimentation to achieve a stability that depends on an expensive cocktail of (mostly) addictive pills. My friends’ illnesses are managed; my illness is managed. But are we “in recovery”? What in the world would that mean? Continue reading