Monday, December 7, 2009

A Statement of Recovery From Gerald Butler

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          When a Doctor attends a cocktail party it’s pretty much assured someone, is going to ask his/her medical advice. If the person is an auto mechanic invariably somebody will ask advice about the noise his engine is making. The commonality of these cases is an area of the brain called the Hippocampus, which is the storage center of memory, learning, spatial/environment, and emotion. Very often information can be gleaned from this section of the brain that the person had no knowledge of: i.e. while under hypnosis a crime witness reveals details that he did not even know were there. Unless it has been damage, the hippocampus functions the same in those with a mental illness thus it is illogical to ask us to forget the past. What is needed is a place where consumers can feel comfortable and safe enough to bring to the surface and deal with those issues that have been buried in the brain. If not, we remain sick.

       A majority of Americans do not tell their Doctor everything, such as whether or not they are staying on a diet. The longer mental health issues remain buried in our subconscious, the longer we remain sick. A recovery-centered environment must be one where consumers feel safe enough and are encouraged to do a self-inventory and take charge of their lives. By doing so, many consumers find out they are not as bad as they thought. In the ‘medical model’ there are constant reminders that we are sick and incapable, and that only a staff person can teach us how to live. Staff supervises the medical model. The Recovery model is consumer directed and just as people think of their own maladies upon seeing a doctor, when we see staff, we are reminded that we are sick. Recovery programs should not contain references to illness.


         On our own CHARGE has: fought stigma by establishing and nurturing relationships with many community based organizations. Working with NAMI, we arranged a television interview. We have own code of conduct and by-laws. The ‘Voices of Recovery Gospel Choir’ is making tremendous strides helping to spread the message of hope. We moved into an artistic community and are developing relationships with many visual artist and musicians in the complex. We contacted Detroit Cable T. V. and asked them to do a public service documentary on CHARGE. We made the arrangements for CHARGE to provide entertainment at the historic Fort Street Presbyterian Church. We are currently working with the Rackham Symphony Choir to participate in their concert for the homeless in March.  

       We believe there are far too many folks seeking recovery in the United States who are not being provided the basic self- esteem needed to become participants in their own healing process. You can plant a flower in fertile soil, but whether it blossoms is up to the flower. The system cannot make anyone seek recovery. CHARGE is dedicated to helping transform the system by providing environments where creativity, self-esteem, truth, hope, and caring flourish. We encourage consumers to seek out leaders who truly have their interests at heart who support your efforts to heal. Mostly we tell them to hold their heads high, walk tall, and take charge of their lives.

Gerald Butler

Certified Peer Specialist


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