Talk is Cheap: Walk the Road to Recovery

November 28, 2011 Natalie Jeanne Champagne

Analyzing "Talk"

Some people like chocolate and some people like going to movies. Me, well, I like my thesaurus. I like things like this: certain pens, books, a 5,000 page book full of words that connect to words that mean, pretty much, the same damn thing. So, fueled by caffeine, I look up the word talk (and here is to hoping a few you like words, sort of), and am confronted with a whole slew of them.


To talk is to be :


>To be Fluent

>To Prattle

>To Chinwag (this is probably not part of your regular conversation...nor mine)

>Spendthrift of one's tongue..Hmm.

A few examples. Ridiculous? yes. In the context of recovering mental illness we need to know that talk is cheap, though it is important and gets the ball rolling. Recovering requires action as opposed to a ridiculously large vocabulary. You probably do not go to a psychiatric appointment and tell your doctor you would like to engage in a "session-dialogue." Having said this, I hope I still have you reading because when push comes to shove, we do not need a heck of a lot of talking to start walking. Just enough to push us in the right direction. That's where the work comes in.

Analyzing "Recovery"

I promise you, I am almost done with the Thesaurus. Further to this, I promise you I have a point here.

Recovery is:

> To recuperate

>To take a favorable turn (no surprise here)

>To enhance and to enrich

>To grow better (I consider this grammatically incorrect but I suppose I should not argue with my thesaurus)

>To perk-up (connecting this to recovery is...shall I say...ridiculous?)

>To furbish (I think of my couch but perhaps you think of something better)

That's it for the horrible wording. My point: we can think of many words for recovery and for communicating but we need to take action. Throw out the words, and define recovery proactively. Work hard at it.

The Road to Recovery

road_recovery_main_webWhen I picture a road, a trail, I am confronted with memories of my past: the trails I adore, walking in the rain that defines British Columbia, Canada, and the feeling of freedom I felt. On the flip side: the road to recovery is not nearly as pretty. It is more like walking over broken glass or molten rock.You probably do not hear any birds sing, you probably are not clutching a water bottle and carrying a yoga mat. No, you might be holding a prescription pad with your name on it. You might be sitting in your psychiatrists office, wringing your hands, agitated. Praying, even if you are not religious, for some sort of reprieve. A day symptom free might be lovely, a week, a month! Many of us would part with our favorite belongings to cherish it.

The Reality

Recovering from mental Illness is hard work. The hardest work you will ever do. I would rather run for Prime Minister, I would prefer pitching a tent in my backyard and sleeping there. Despite the possibility of a bear of five circling the tent. Sarcasm aside: working to find stability in our lives isn't easy. It is a lovely combination of meeting with our psychiatrist and "chinwagging" about how we feel and being proactive in our recovery. It's exhausting but the rewards are numerous: a stable mind and life, an opportunity to have healthy relationships with those we love, and get back on our feet.

You can spend years talking about getting better or you can work to get yourself better. Now, I recognize this isn't always possible. Sometimes we need those in our support circle to help us recover; allowing them to help is important. Allowing people to walk the road to recovery with us makes it easier.

Talk-therapy is important but it is equally important to view your recovery as a physical pursuit: something that you need to conquer. Above all, believe that you can.

APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2011, November 28). Talk is Cheap: Walk the Road to Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

August, 20 2018 at 5:06 pm

After several years of support groups, I notice what you are describing to be the difference between those who get better, heal and move on with their lives successfully and those who get stuck. Many times when we get stuck, we return to addictive behaviors. To recover is definitely a long process, and it requires mental clarity, persistence, dedication and flexibility. It requires learning to live a balanced life and actually practicing what we learned every day. Learning to have sober fun is so possible! I don't listen to people's talk any more; I listen to actions, because repetitive behaviors rarely lie. Thanks.

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
December, 2 2011 at 5:54 am

Hi, Dan:
Thank you for the support. I notice you subscribe to my blog--I really appreciate that.

December, 1 2011 at 5:48 pm

Thank you. I get your point and I'm inspired by it. I have been following your writing for some time and I really enjoy it.

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