We were focusing on finding our footing and settling into our new life in San Francisco when, very shortly after the move, I was contacted by the Bureau of Mental Health in WI and was asked if I would write the manual on recovery that I had mentioned at the Q&A that day. This was simultaneously a huge surprise, a massive honor and an incredibly overwhelming idea. We were very passionate about all of our work with Health Action Network, but we never anticipated it being as consuming as it had become. I was very conflicted by the invitation to continue down this path as the word/concept/program/materials of Procovery were never part of the mission of HAN, and I was really looking forward to returning to our original mission and focus.

In all honesty, I’d never actually considered or anticipated taking on the writing of the manual when I suggested it. I think people have the ability to be far more ambitious and visionary, and tend to feel comfortable to think on a larger scale, when they won’t be the one doing the actual work, which was certainly the case here. I saw this as a great idea for someone else to execute.

I took a bit of time to think about the possibility of taking this on and I finally came around to seeing this as an extraordinary opportunity to make meaningful systems change, which was the entire basis for all of the work I’d been committing myself to. This became an idea that I just could not walk away from and I finally agreed to create the manual.

Not only did I not think all of the specifics through, I truly had no way of knowing at the time what the specifics would be, how I would approach this project, and ultimately, how profoundly challenging I would find the experience of turning this Q&A response into a reality.


Please check back for The Wisconsin Days – Part Five!

Until next time,