Working in recovery was also described as less about carrying bricks and more about juggling – capturing not just the increased load but the inherent complexity.

“In recovery you end up with a whole lot more to juggle than in normal life and then you throw in a bowling ball or a chain saw and whole range of different things happen. Juggling similar balls you might wobble but once you know the weight you can establish a rhythm. But in recovery things aren’t uniform or expected. The chainsaw represents something of incredible importance that you must get right – that is particularly stressful. There will be things that you drop. You have to recognise this. And you will get stressed about dropping them. In a usual job the environment is known and straight forward. Instead recovery is like juggling and walking across a footpath, over a beach, through a river, next to a cliff… The recovery environment is always changing and there are threats and surprises. Constancy and certainty is not there.”

- John Richardson, Australian Red Cross