Healing means to me that I am in congruence with myself and my world, that I am able to maintain relationships in love and devotion, and that I am continually aware of and attempting to return to a state of holistic harmony. Healing, or true recovery, is not necessarily the absence of symptoms but rather an awareness of symptoms and a humble responsiveness to such maladaptive responses to pain, knowing that I want to be healthy for myself and the people I love. Healing requires some connection to a deep meaning and purpose, which I hold as a spiritual vision of love beyond my own small life and circumstances. By healing, I am moving toward the ability to love myself and my world with a growing expansiveness. Healing is a surrender to the dynamics of life and the intimate understanding of continued trials and tribulations on the infinite and mysterious unfold of my own humanity and that of those graciously placed in my life.
I have a strong desire to contribute positively to the world, to love all people, and that has to be an overflow of the love I have for myself. I hold my healing in the highest regard, because I am unable to give without being resourced enough to give. It is like the modern metaphor of oxygen masks on an airplane: I have to put my oxygen mask on before helping another with their oxygen mask, or else I run the risk of being incapacitated and incapable of living in alignment with my values. Such an inability to show love to myself is a sort of spiritual death in itself.
Perhaps most pertinent to the intersection of social justice, neurodiversity, and mental health is the healing required to hold the goodness of humanity in all people located in societal systems of stigmatization, prejudice, and oppression. I believe that people are doing the best they can with the tools they have. Any inability to see their goodness is a reflection of my refusal to see my own shortcomings and capacity to heal. People are fundamentally good, sane, and whole. I believe that wholeheartedly and have come to know this truth intimately within myself. Providing tools—whether in language, models of thinking, or more skillful treatment reform—must be an expression of the ways in which we all long to love and also need better vehicles to more fully express and articulate that love for us all.