This article analyzes interview and survey data collected during the course of the MindFreedom International Oral History Project from June 1 through September 1, 2001 . The purpose of the MindFreedom Oral History Project was to gather stories of experiences in the mental health system from the psychiatric survivor or ex-patient perspective. Thirty-six people participated in the study, most of who consider themselves “psychiatric survivors. ” Qualitative and quantitative analysis reveals four major themes emerging from these histories : trauma, social control, internalized oppression, and recovery. The focus of this article is on the theme of recovery. Participants demonstrated resiliency and a strong ability to ” recover.” No “magic bullet ” was found to work for all participants’ recovery process; instead, participants used a variety of selfdesigned strategies to recapture their once broken lives.