sunflowers in a fieldBy Amanda Kearney-Smith

First, what do I mean by “recovery”? There are lots of definitions out there, for me recovery means living “successfully” with a disorder (aka remaining a functional human being, working, being a wife, etc.) while loving myself, having hope and finding meaning in life.

There are lots and lots of good things about living in recovery – but there are some negative consequences associated with being in recovery. There’s good and bad with everything in life, right? So here’s my list, if you have something to add let us know!


  • Life is good! I’m health and happy!
  • I have learned a lot about myself
  • I know that things can always get better
  • I’ve figured out what works for me
  • I have a lot of compassion and empathy for others
  • I am confident in my recovery
  • I am stronger because of my journey
  • I have hope even when things are not going well
  • I can support others on their journey
  • I’m now an advocate
  • I am empowered to speak up for what I need
  • I look for the positive in situations
  • I seek out positive people


  • I know that I will always live with this condition
  • I know there will be ups and downs no matter how hard I work
  • I have a lot of self-stigma sometimes and other times I don’t care!
  • I’m tired of thinking about it!
  • I fear one day my medicine will kill me
  • Sharing my experience leads to people feeling sorry for me

Way more pro’s than con’s! What does your list look like?

The Pro’s and Con’s of Living in Recovery
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Amanda Kearney-Smith

I founded the Network as the Executive Director in 2011 and, before that, I was a program director at Mental Health Colorado. My educational background is in Developmental Psychology, but living with bipolar disorder has drawn me to this work. I'm most passionate about protecting the civil rights and dignity of others. In my free time, I love reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with my family here and in Illinois.

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