Life is tough at the moment for many of us including myself. I have become very unwell and I’ve been knocking on doors for help from the Community Mental health team who have been unhelpful. Tried to throw myself off a bridge on the 23 September. I have and Eating Disorder and because I have put on weight I stabbed my breast and my thighs.
I have decided that while I’m still living I am going to try and help myself so this what I have done today. I also have a voice and I won’t be ignored.
The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.
You can download the WRAP app for free -IT explains what how WRAP can help you. You can make your own WRAP plain and email it to yourself.
What it is and https://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrapapp/
Follow WRAP on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WRAPYourWellnessYourWay/
An interesting article to read ‘In the worlds ‘Happiest’ countries- the Happiness gap and how it has an effect on your Mental health.
The Nordic countries are meant to be the happiest countries in the world however according to new studies and analysis 12.3 % of the population are still struggling and the article goes in to detail of the the reasons why.
I’ve also started doing the Happify app again. https://www.happify.com/home/
Art helps you recognise your strengths, gives you activies to do help you achieve your goals and it explains the science behind the activities. It has a community forum for support. It gives you daily activities you can do and there are instant games you can play -Guided meditation, Negative Knockout, Acts of kindness. You can keep a track of where you are at and it it activates your Dopamine levels -that are responsible for the reward/pleasure part of your brain & this helps to keep us motivated .
You can find out more about Dopamine at Psychology today https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/dopamine
I’ve also started engaging with the unmasked campaign – it is a leading Suicide prevention charity started in 2019
Unmasked Mental Health provides support to like-minded change seekers in a genuine and personal way. Helping them to feel secure and live life confidently.
Find out more on their website https://unmaskedmentalhealth.co.uk/about-us/
This is the week everything has started to come together for me and I 100% feel I actually have been doing something that will help me in so many different situations in my life. Yet again I am so grateful to have been given this ‘gift’
Following on from identifying triggers’. Today we looked at a specific example of a trigger and we started looking at how we could get an Action plan together of how we would deal with this trigger. Remember that triggers can affect anyone/multiple senses- sight, smell, taste, touch, sound. We are all human and flawed.
Time to allow me to be vulnerable to demonstrate the power of our thoughts.
There is a lot of stuff in our world that we can’t control: how other people behave or certain events that may happen. What a person can do is to decide how he/she will respond to the triggers. I say respond because it implies some thought behind it. As humans, we do have the tendency to react to uncomfortable people and situations and events which is more impulsive.
Here is a vast list of triggers that can tip a person into feeling like crap. There is a lot on this list that I would never have thought of as a trigger, so it is worth having a look. Below this list is a brief look at how a person can Action plan. The whole point of an Action plan is to keep you from getting unwell or feeling worse. What’s the saying? ‘Hindsight is a bitch’. – there’s a few quotes like this. Well, it doesn’t have to be any more because we have got a plan. Okay, so today I ‘dug’ real deep and I exposed a huge fear/trigger for me. Before we get going, one of the group co-facilitators explained a vivid metaphor/analogy of what is likely to happen if we ignore our triggers.
Referring back to the butterfly metaphor I spoke of on my Action planning, Unfortunately, I couldn’t come across the exact version our group facilitator told us today. However, I am not one to give up so easily and I have found something just as good that explains the concept in the same kind of context- i.e. don’t ignore and hide away from life events and how you respond to them. Respond to them in a way that empowers you! This is the gem I found;
Imagine two caterpillars looking on As a beautiful butterfly floats on by
One turns saying after it is gone,“Not ever me as a butterfly that high!”Push away Resistance and be open for Change.
STOP and be more than just a caterpillar, ho-hum. Start by envisioning ideas beyond your range gain The Answer to what you can become.
As with the Caterpillar, it could be a gooey mess But you’ll improve and gain self-esteem, for sure Change is about letting go, trusting the process
Of becoming more than you are with things you were. The caterpillar was quite resistant and content; Causing him to ignore what the change involved. He thought his answer would stop the event–His Mother is a moth—his problem was solved!
Can we all learn from this? What can we try? Fight it as we might, Change will come our wayThe caterpillar’s colours are in and on the butterflyWe, too, can transform with our colours still in play
ADDITIONAL TRIGGERS LIST
- TO IMPRESS A PARTNER
- SITUATION WITH A ‘FRIEND’ WHO HAS A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON ME
- BEING STEREOTYPED/ PUT IN A ‘BOX’
- BEING JUDGED AND HOW A PERSON RESPONDS. I TEND TO CATASTROPHIZE.
- SAYING NO
- CAR RAGE/ISSUES –SOMEONE PARKING IN A DISABLED SPACE AND WHO IS NOT DISABLED
- PARTNERS MOOD SWINGS
- ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
- INTIMACY WITH A PARTNER
- BEING OVER-TIRED
- TRAUMATIC NEWS-HIGH EXPRESSED EMOTION– POSSIBLY FROM FAMILY MEMBERS
- TRAVELLING TO AN UNFAMILIAR PLACE/ABROAD/DELAYS
- EX-WIFE/HUSBAND CONFRONTATION IN RELATION TO CHILDREN
- PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN
- FAMILY DYNAMICS INCLUDING THOSE WITH CHILDREN INVOLVED
- SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ALONE
- FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
- BENEFITS /SOCIAL SECURITY BEING QUESTIONED OR DENIED
so once you have identified all your triggers, we need to do something positive with it, right? What you need is a plan to stop your triggers having too much power over you and your feelings. It is about stripping these triggers down- some of you who have come across CBT and DBT will be familiar with this way of action planning but this is the more awesome way of doing it. TRUST ME!
This is my moment. Here is where I make myself vulnerable to demonstrate that this plan can work for you if you put in the work. From the above list, the trigger that holds so much power over me is:
BEING JUDGED AND HOW I RESPOND. I TEND TO CATASTROPHIZE EVERYTHING RELATED TO MY TEETH.
What is going on in my head? what am I thinking? PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT MY TEETH, IAM GOING TO FAIL, I AM GOING TO BLOW MY ONE CHANCE TO SUCCEED. I CAN’T COPE. I’m SCARED MY THOUGHTS WILL STOP AND I WILL FORGET WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. I NEED TO GET AWAY FROM THIS PERSON/SITUATION.
I can see that this is all negative chatter. I want it to stop so I need to think really hard about how I am going to deal with these thoughts when they arise. It was a really tough thing for me to do. Brainstorm ways that I can help myself? What? Never! But I forced my self to think. I went back all the way to week two. I have a wellness toolbox- link. The problem with this specific trigger is that it catches me off guard when I’m already in the thick of it. Part of my plan needs to address this and I do.
Before I can do this I need to find a way to get into a zone of thinking that quietens down the negative thoughts.
HERE IS MY ACTION PLAN
- I CAN TAKE ‘MY THOUGHTS TO COURT’ – The link for this is at the end of my list.
- I CAN SIT WITH THE FEELINGS UNTIL THEY PASS- A TOUGH ONE FOR ME TO DO
- I CAN MAKE A PROS AND CONS LIST OF ALL THE THINGS I WILL GET OUT OF ME NOT OVERTHINKING AND JUDGING MY APPEARANCE OR WHAT I THINK ALL PEOPLE ARE THINKING. I’m NOT A MIND READER BUT I TEND TO THINK I AM IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION
- I CAN USE WISE MIND/ PRACTICE MINDFULNESS – SORRY ABOUT ALL THE JARGON -IF YOU WANT TO EXPLORE DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES THEN DO. IF YOU DON’T -THEN DON’T – LINK – the link can be found at the end of this list.
- MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE ONE IS WHEN I AM ALREADY IN THAT SITUATION WITH A PERSON AND THE THOUGHT TAKES OVER MY MIND I FEEL COMFORTABLE ENOUGH SAYING: SORRY, IF I APPEAR TO BE ACTING STRANGELY ( SOMETIMES I’M NOT BOTHERED BY MY TEETH) I HAVE A FEW ISSUES WITH MY TEETH’. I BELIEVE THIS IS SUCH A POWERFUL TECHNIQUE AND A BRAVE ONE BECAUSE I LAY IT OUT AND I VERBALISE IT AND THEN THE THOUGHT IS OUT OF MY MIND. I HAVE MADE THE PERSON AWARE OF WHAT IS MAKING ME NOT ENGAGE LIKE I USUALLY DO AND THE POWER COMES BACK TO ME. I HAVE MORE SPACE TO THINK AND TALK ABOUT WHATEVER IT IS THAT I WANT TO REALLY TALK ABOUT.
TAKE MY THOUGHTS TO COURT LINK -If you would like me to do an example please let me know. It can be one of your triggers or one on the lists.
IF YOU ARE RUSHED FOR TIME THIS YOUTUBE CLICK IS PRETTY COOL. IT IS AN ORIGINAL TAKE ON EXPLAIN WISE-MIND- you can access it anywhere- in your car wherever and listen to it. I love it!
CLICK ON THIS WISE-MIND LINK– I like it because I find it helps me understand the wise mind – I find a mix of images and dialogue easier to understand.
Okay, so if you have been creating your WRAP from week one. YAY! what a journey it has been, hasn’t it? And for those who haven’t you can always CLICK ON THIS LINK and see how you too can start your very own Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).
Here is a clip describing a bit of week 10 When things are breaking down
Week 10 -down. WOW! two weeks and my three-month’ gift’ is coming to an end. I will save my personal thoughts and other group members thoughts on WRAP in week 12. I just want to point out that I did not think I would get much out of this but I can promise you I have learned so much about myself, how I tick, what helps me, what doesn’t help me and loads of empowering self-help techniques. WRAP is free. It was given to me as a ‘gift’ and I give it to you as a ‘gift’. No extras. No-fuss!
This weeks session focused on when you have ignored or not seen the trigger or Early warning signs and you can feel yourself slipping into meltdown, the plan to get that job is not going as it should, there have been delays in moving to where you are moving too. Your relationship is at breaking point, you can find no relief for your chronic pain if you have MS or Cancer even, but there is still a chance that you can pull yourself back and re-own your yourself.
Here is my breakdown list of signs and symptoms I feel when I start to feel like everything has turned to jelly. The stability is just that little bit further out of reach. My list is very focused on Eating disorders because this is where my mind is at but I am fighting to regain my control. It is my responsibility to stay well. I can do this with WRAP.
WHEN THINGS ARE BREAKING DOWN
- weigh myself obsessively
- take more photographs of myself to compare them to what I think I see in the mirror
- My perception of my body is split and fractured. I am unable to focus on my body as a whole entity
- Panic attacks
- Don’t want to or I am feel unable to communicate
- Seriously thinking or actively starting to cut down on fluids and food intake
- I refuse to try on clothes that I didn’t wear when I was at a body weight I deemed acceptable
- I will push myself to go 24 hours 7 until I collapse
- I don’t want to g out
- I want to or stop taking my medication to get my Bipolar highs
- withhold love and affection -I don’t feel worthy of the two.
- Lose my sense of humour
- all seems doom and gloom
- feel that everyone hates me or has a problem with me
- Using degrading language on myself eg. I’m fat, I’m stupid. -all un helpful thoughts and mantras
- I feel I am an empty vessel -no personality a loss of identity
- I’m selfish and refuse or can’t look at the world around me and what is happening outside of my illness
- I think about escaping- or over dosing on my prescription medication or act on it
- Short tempered
- Angry at myself
- It becomes harder to look after myself. It becomes harder to look after my daughter
- Sleep for days at a time or not sleep for days at a time
- buy exercise energy enhanced pills on line
- over exercise for over three hours with no breaks
- Indecisive- small choices are hard to make
- feel disconnected to reality. I can reinforce this buy not wearing my glasses or contact lenses.
- Spend less time with my daughter. I don’t want her to pick up on my emotions and for her to see me in a ‘weak’ role
That is my list. It is a tough list to do but if you are thorough and honest with yourself then we can take all these symptoms and experiences and start an Action Plan. All is not lost but it feels pretty close to lost.
You need to start brainstorming what you can or will try to do to get you back on an even keel.
Create an Action plan
call my C.P.N. or my psychiatrist
Speak to someone I can trust- use my circle of protection. I have a select group of people I have entrusted into my personal space to help me when I I feel like things are breaking down
I can look at my maintenance tools from week two and three and try see if I can reign things in a bit
look at the different uniqueness I have learned eg. the art of moment therapy, mindfulness, take my thoughts to caught, wise mind
( you can always add more to your list as and when something you think will help you stay away from completely breaking down.
That’s it for this week.
Be kind to yourself .Give yourself an affirmation to say for the week, do something for you.