ON THE FUTURE
A final central element in how recovery pathways can take shape, is the ‘enacting of perspectives on the future’. The stories of our participants reveal how an important part of recovery, is being able to build perspectives on the future and have resources to support them. These perspectives on the future can entail all life domains, from building relationships to having work, following an education, to having affordable and qualitative housing, … The stories show how social expectations towards woman- and motherhood influence those perspectives.
THERE ARE THREE CENTRAL TOPICS IN 'PERFORMING PERSPECTIVES ON THE FUTURE'
To see other worlds
The conversations between the participants uncover how important the environment is. They show how the kind of environment they were living in and grew up in determined what kind of perspectives on the future were available to relate to. Initially, this is connected with the availability of material and community resources of their environment. Next to that, the concrete area they were living in influenced the possibilities to connect with diverse social, cultural or economic contexts. Living in a rural area or city context brings different dynamics and contexts to relate to.
To work or not to work
In this current society, having work is a central cornerstone of being part of society. It’s rooted in the idea that you are a contributing member who can take care of your own life. Having meaningful (voluntary) work plays and played an important part in many of our participants recovery pathways. Throughout their stories there are the diverse positive meanings of (voluntary) work, and they are often built on the experiences that it (re)connects them with themselves and society in different ways.
Future as a woman
The discussions with the participants about the future also uncover specific expectations towards their womanhood and motherhood. The participants experience that it is expected to have children as a woman. At the same time, some participants experienced that mothers in recovery are scrutinized. Additionally, some of our participants are afraid to become a mother out of fear for failure or that it would be too much to handle in relation to their own lives. For some this feels as an impossible position to be in. In other words, women have to burden and work through these ambiguous expectations in relation to their womanhood and motherhood.