For decades the mental health consumer/survivor civil rights movement has been advocating recovery. I have been honored to work in this movement since 1985 and finally witness recovery as a system transformation goal.
Once labeled co-morbid, dually diagnosed and double troubled, I am now a co-occurring person living with bipolar II, in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions and living well since diagnosed HIV-positive in September 1988. This affords the label of being a person who is multiply occurring, dynamic, creative and gifted. I am still learning how to live a recovering life.
For years I couldn't be gay in mental health treatment, advocacy or peer groups nor could I be out about mental illness in gay society. It was a painful duality where peer support helped bridge this divide.