Work and life go hand in hand. Humans are constantly engaged in something. Simple activities like watching television keep us occupied. Harder ones require more energy to perform. Humans do things; we don’t simply exist.
I’m thrilled to say that two months of my three-month internship are winding down. I have spent a great deal of time teaching the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), and it has reinforced to me its value. I had a disappointing romantic experience recently, and negative thoughts started barreling inside my head. I talked it over thoroughly with a close friend. I checked my WRAP. I forced myself to accomplish some tasks around my house that I didn’t want to do. In the end, the thoughts subsided, and I felt calm.
The client I mentioned previously who had a combative session with me keeps returning to his appointments. I am really happy about that. He’s finding some value in our time and work together. He’s reaching out. I would like to think he’s expanding his ideas of what might work in his own life. He still likes to debate, but the combative tone was limited to the one time only.
I continually mention to all my clients that I’m a person with a mental illness, too. I’m not a doctor or any other kind of clinician.
Recently, I drove thirty minutes to a rural clinic to meet with a young man and do WRAP with him. He entered the room and sat stiffly with his arms crossed tightly guarding his chest. He was uncomfortable. I have to add I was just as nervous.
Why? Traveling gives me anxiety. Driving worries me. I have a real phobia of parking lots. The morning of my thirty-minute trip, I was simply scared. I spoke long and honestly about my fears to a close friend, and she asked what my WRAP would have me do? I thought about the Daily Maintenance List in the front of my WRAP, and I determined that I had not meditated that morning or for many days actually.
I went to my room and moved my meditation stool into the place I like. I sat and closed my eyes and concentrated on getting to my happy place. There I released my worry. I breathed deeply and calmly. It was not a long time nor did I reach any epiphanies, but I came out of the meditation with my spirits restored. It worked. I felt better.
My job at the rural clinic was to teach WRAP to this one young man who was obviously as fearful as I had been earlier. I did not let his emotions distract me. I launched into my opening introduction about me and the Plan. His arms dropped, and his face relaxed. When he knew I was there for his benefit without an agenda, he became an eager participant. Lo and behold, we finished his WRAP in one sitting. It was amazing and energized me. His case worker was similarly astounded.
I have finished Plans with three individuals now. One woman was so grateful to get her Certificate of Achievement after finishing she nearly cried. It was the only such certificate she had ever received. It is a privilege for me to work with these peers. I grow, too.
I have only about one more month before my internship is finished, and then I will be a fully certified Peer Specialist. My life is utterly different than three years ago when I wrote about my pain. I am working, and I’m happy about that. What a change!
Recovery works. It really works.
4 thoughts on “Work and Life Continue”
I just love reading your blog winningwithbipolar!
You are a motivational figure to me. Since I’ve starting reading your posts, I have found a therapist with whom I feel very “safe”. I have had some scarring from some “professionals”,
it has taken some time to gain my courage/trust back. I’m practically “giddy” to go to my
therapy appointments now. lol I am familiar with The WRAP program. It has empowered
me too. I have felt embarrassed, isolated, weak, frustrated and so angry in the past prior
to learning and creating my WRAP plan. It’s like a best friend who’s always present to
remind me of the tools I’ve misplaced when I’m struggling. Those tools are priceless.
I’m so pleased for you and your clients!!! What a wonderful feeling you must have. =)
Thank you, Jewllz. Those are truly kind words, and they strike directly at my heart. I am really quite moved.
I got very lucky with my therapist. I sort of fell into a perfect therapist/patient relationship right off the bat. It’s disheartening to hear some of the stories like yours of how awful some people’s therapy experiences are. If you feel giddy, enjoy it, by all means.
WRAP as a best friend. That is a concept and a saying I’m going to use. Thank you for that. What I find most interesting about WRAP is that, as my best friend, I wrote it. I made that Plan. I did it. I am the one who wrote out that list of what I’m like when I’m well and my Daily Maintenance List. I’m the one who cheers me on as I struggle with the negativity and work to feel good.
It is a best friend, and that friend is me. And now, I have you as a friend, too. That warms my heart.
Again, thank you,
Love this – I’m crying too! Happy for you.
It makes me happy that you like it so much.