The following is an artistic interpretation of recovery by one of our Peer Support Professionals, Rachel Sedell.

I can tell you that one of the things I have gained from recovery is the word itself. The word recovery suggests constantly evolving and growing without end or beginning. Upon the strongest canvas, a dark image can be redesigned to show a picture of profound bright hope. At one point in my life, I didn’t understand that art could be repurposed, mixed and still emotional. Sadly, while struggling with trauma, my mental health diagnosis and self-medicating with substances, I lived only in black and white. I thought that to be good enough in life it meant that I had to be without flaw… That I had to accept that I sucked or had to break myself to perform perfectly for the people around me. I was stuck trying to be, and oblivious to being. 

Since I have had the opportunity to accept that recovery is both an action word AND a descriptive word, to me it is the art of process and acceptance. Recovery is finding freedom within to blend in golds or purple. Some days, subtle hints of a dark charcoal peek at me like battle scars that build resilience. And yet still remembering the many coats of thick black paint that began my life’s most precious work of art.

Recovery to me is accepting that all shades of gray can exist and with skills and encouragement I have the ability to move in all directions of life with color and flair. While I am no artist whatsoever, I can create a magnificent peace to my existence that I never knew and that I still find an excitement to exploring. 

What Recovery Means to Me

Wilder Hickney

Wilder C. Hickney has been consulting with Colorado Mental Wellness Network as a Communications Specialist since November 2021. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and Communication Studies and has previously worked as a rhetorical researcher and intern with the University of Denver. Wilder continues to offer services related to developing long-term rhetorical communication strategies to clients. With CMWN, she combines her love of language and her lived experience to create promotional content through various communication channels. In her free time, Wilder is a dedicated poet and dog lover.

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