Recovery and Renewal

What is recovery? Generally, it is thought of as returning to a state of health following illness or injury.

Of course, you must also define “health” for that to make sense. But the overall premise is that you return to the state of being you had prior to a particular change (such as the onset of symptoms). You’re okay, then you get sick, and then, by some means, you return to okay.

Is Sickness Bad?

However, I wonder if there really is such a thing as recovery at all; and if there is, if it’s even a good thing.

Where is there to recover from or to? You don’t return to the way you were however long ago, before the “condition” or “malady” began. It’s impossible to be exactly as you were in the past.

Why would you want to be anyway? Through malaise you simply become something new-- rapidly and radically, even. And that's not even the whole picture.

What does it mean that there is nothing to recover from?

When you become “sick,” you enter a new state of being. You learn and change while in that state. By the time you “recover” you are something different than you were before. This means that if there is anything you are “recovering” from, it is your original state-- not the “sick” state.

Now, is this really a matter of ups (“health”) and downs (“sickness”) at all? I could say that sickness is just another experience, not up or down from anything. It’s not something to be judged as good or bad, nor right or wrong. It may not mean or signify anything in particular, and it doesn’t necessarily limit you. You can have fun with and be amazed by it. Hey, the illness response means that some part of your body’s working right, eh?

So how “down” or negative does this sound? Maybe not so much.

An example:

When I had my wisdom teeth removed a year ago, I decided to toy with the effects of different activities on pain relief-- in particular, listening to and playing music. For this to work I had to take as few pain relievers as possible, so I tested my limits on that also. I definitely did not take the narcotics I was prescribed (these doctors throw pills everywhere!). I also began a biphasic sleep 30-day trial before the surgery and I was able to continue on through, still sleeping far less than the average teenager (sorry guys). Best of all, I learned that I can go 10 days without brushing my teeth and still be perfectly socially acceptable. ;)

One thing I really wanted to “recover” to, or go back to that I did before the surgery, was running. I didn’t run for about 10 days (must be correlated to teeth-brushing!). I wasn’t dying without it, but that is a long time for me (up to that point the longest I had gone without running in the last three years was about 2 weeks).

Of course, you aren’t what you do, and your experience of what you do changes as you do (catch my drift?). Renewal doesn’t just refer to the objective. Maybe you return to the same activities you partook in as before, but that doesn’t mean that you yourself are the same.


Cover it Back Up

Now, let’s say that there is such a possibility as true recovery. Look at the word: re-cover. It looks like it could mean once again covering up your symptoms (or causes), just as you had before you experienced them. In this sense you do return to the state you were in before the “incident.”

But if that state was one of denial or going down a wrong path, why the heck would you want to go back there?

A simple example looks like this: Take pills every day and you deem yourself to be fine. Get off the pills and things happen to you that you don’t like. Start taking the pills again and now you’re fine.

Really? Were you ever really “fine” in the first place? No-- you started out by merely covering up symptoms, and now you’re just re-covering them.  If you had just rested in the discomfort of step 2 for some time, you might have found a way to get to “fine,” or something like it.

Sometimes people wish to become injured or ill, whether they are aware of this desire or not. I have felt this way before.

Why would someone want for this? Generally I would suspect it is related to a fear; in other words, there is something they are avoiding. Sometimes people want more pain so that they may avoid other pains. This is classic of High School girls waiting by the starting line on the track. People have wanted broken arms and to be struck in the head by baseballs before they run for 5-13 minutes (depending on the distance of the race). It sounds silly, but, well, fear never did equate to reason.

The fallacy here is the idea that the activity to be avoided is inherently painful. But the truth is that nothing is painful unless you make it so. Not even running is, by the way. Almost all pain is just resistance, and it stems from fear.

Pain also has a way of signifying change- bodily or otherwise- and this returns us to the point.


Discovering and Restructuring

Illness is a particularly good time to rest, reflect, and try out what you’ve learned to ultimately better yourself. The illness can be a challenge, a skill-building opportunity, or a sort of training.

Ultimately, however, there is no ill health or recovery-- there are no woes to linger on nor fear of permanency. There is only renewal. That’s all you’re ever doing: becoming something new. That, or you could say that you’re unconvering your true self that already exists within you. Either way, you’re moving towards positive change.

See where this path leads you-- for instance, what you may have to do differently from before.

From this perspective, malaise can actually be a good sign. The same is true of anything "negative." It is a sign that something is coming up which has previously gone unnoticed or unresolved, and it is now time for restructuring.

Evolution has often seen a breakdown of structure followed by a construction of something more effective. The original parts are still there, but they are arranged differently now. They seem to work better this way.

The same is happening for you right now. What is there to fear or deny? You are becoming something new in each moment anyhow. If from your heart, mind, and spirit you align yourself just so, each of your experiences can do no more than build you up.

Why go back to the old, when you have the opportunity to be something new? Don't recover-- discover.