Dave's Progress. Chapter 127: The Final Chapter.

So, after 126 chapters, this being the 127th, I have decided to call an end to entitling my posts "Dave's Progress". As the last chapter was a particularly positive one, suggesting that, if not entirely recovered, many of us at the Pathways Group are well into the process of recovery, I have made up my mind that this might be an appropriate place to end calling my posts by that particular name.
Indeed, anyway, "recovery" to many is an ongoing process, not with any solid end goal. As many of us in the group have chronic conditions (i.e. they are treatable, but not curable), the suggestion that any of us are totally "recovered", including myself, is perhaps to misconstrue the concept of recovery. So, as an alcoholic might call themselves "a recovering alcoholic", so it is with us.
Having said this, there are aims to the recovery process, such as being able to live a fulfilling and meaningful existence even without the complete abatement of symptoms, and also finding an identity beyond the strictures simply of illness. I have remarked before how many come to identify themselves entirely with their condition, giving it so-called "master status", often describing themselves as "a schizophrenic" or "a manic depressive". The process of recovery, in part, is about getting beyond such labelling and claiming (or perhaps reclaiming) an identity outside the boundaries imposed by such definitions.
Many topics have been covered over my 126 chapters, many to do with the stigma surrounding mental illness, many about my own experience, and also a few on my thoughts on the treatment of mental ill health. There have also been some which have nothing to do with mental health at all, and which I hope have proved that there is more to me, and indeed to anyone, than just my or their diagnosis. And, I do hope that, in some way, the chapters reflect an ongoing "progress". After reading over some earlier posts, I do find that they reflect the fact that I was once quite angry about my own treatment and very bothered by stigma. I hope that more recent posts reflect that I have managed to resolve such negative feelings, and have come to be a lot more happy and contented than I once was. Hopefully such "progress" will inspire others to see that no matter how bad things are or appear to be at present, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
So, this is the end of "Dave's Progress", and I am definitely going out on a high. Whereas once life didn't seem to be worth living, it now appears to me to be a great, rip-roaring adventure, one which I seem to appreciate all the more because I have experienced such lows. So, as I venture into pastures new, perhaps you'd like to join me for the ride, for although this is the end of "Dave's progress", it certainly isn't the end of this blog. And, although, no doubt, mental health and the issues surrounding it will remain my main subject, I'm sure there will be something I can think of which reflects the fact that my identity is no longer bound up entirely with mental ill health. In the words of Bette Davis then, "fasten your seat belts, this could be a bumpy ride".         


bazza said…
This is a real landmark David and I am very happy for you. I am keen to know what direction your blogging will take. I belive your quality of writing will enable you to make any topic worth reading!
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’
David said…
Dear bazza,
Thank you for such a complimentary comment.
As my blog was satrted as part of the "Mindbloggling" project at the Media Action Group for Mental Health, I do feel a slight obligation to keep the main subject of the blog as mental health. Having said that, as I say in my post, I will be branching out a bit into other areas- perhaps my usual preoccupations of politics, the odd philosophical rumination and films and literature will figure. Besides that I shall just, at present, have to have a good think about it.
Thanks once again bazza for your support throughout much of "Dave's Progress".
With Very Best Wishes,
dcrelief said…
Hi David.
I'm most grateful that your blog has given me insight into the world of mental health issues. Indeed, often "Dave's Progress" has given "dc some relief". Thank you!

I cannot wait to see what comes next in this ongoing 'day in the life' of one of the most talented and interesting people I know. I suppose it has always been your perspective and the creativity you use that keeps me reading.

"May the force be with you!"
GEM said…
Good for you! I look forward to following you on your next journey.

Take Care

David said…
Dear Dixie,
Thanks for your extremely kind words. I can feel my head swelling again!
Also, I thank you greatly for your continued interest and support. If I'm correct, I think you have left comments from the very beginning of "Dave's Progress", and I couldn't think of a bigger compliment than you have left in your little message above. Your interest and always thoughtful, encouraging and supportive words have made my blogging days all the more worth while
So, may the force be with you, too, dc. Together, I'm sure we can ward off the "dark side"!
Many thanks and Best Wishes,
David said…
Hi Gem,
Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. I hope what I write next lives up to expectations!
With Very Best Wishes,
klahanie said…
Dear David,
My humble and sincere apologies for not visiting your blog in quite the while. As you will know, I've been way out of my so-called 'normal' routine and thus the reason for my rather tardy arrival.
I'm very pleased to note that as those other chapters conclude, new chapters in your ongoing and refreshing attitude will portray a varied and yet still enlightening approach to your writing.
Indeed, my good friend, there is so much more to us than our mental health concerns. All the very best and may you continue to find fulfilment and inspiration through the power and the magic of the written word.
With very kind wishes, your way, Gary.
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thanks for your very kind words.
And also many thanks for continuing to comment on this, my humble blog. Indeed, your support (along with the other regular commentors) has been invaluable and made my blogging experience all the more enjoyable.
Be in touch soon, Gare. Until then, take care and I hope you soon recover from the wretched jet-lag.
With Very Best Wishes,

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