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Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

Starting off our first Wellbeing Wednesday Activity for 2019!

@Jay-RO introduced the idea over here - and we will be posting a new activity each Wednesday for everyone to participate in if you'd like!

 

This activity has been suggested by @Bee and @N1ghtW1ng around the topic of Recovery! Recovery in mental wellbeing is often described on our forums as a journey, where each individual person goes through a unique experience of learning and growth.

 

This week's activity is all about identifying the tough times in recovery and looking towards a way forward- similar to turning negatives into positives thread:

Identify something tough about recovery. Then identify how you can or have managed to move forward.

 

What we know about recovery is that it isn't linear, in fact it often looks like this:

recovery.jpg

 

An example from my personal recovery experience:

The toughest part: The toughest part for me were the relapses and feeling like I was moving backwards, when I was wanting to move forward. I used to describe it as "being glued to the floor while the world spun around me".

 

How I moved forward: Every relapse I had showed me something new about myself. I learnt how to identify the signs quickly so the relapses weren't as big, and built up my support network so I had people to lean on. 

 

For those who want to know more about recovery, to share your story, ask a question or read about other members' experiences of recovery, jump across to the thread Recovery; our journey to well being  here

 

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Check out our community activities calendar for November 2019 here

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

That's awesome @Jess1-RO Really proud of you Smiley Happy
I don't think I'm recovering, things aren't improving but I'll give it ago anyway..
The toughest part: The constant urges and overwhelming thoughts to relapse
How I moved forward: Trying to block it out? Talking to helplines and RO members helping me to distract myself Smiley Happy

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

I think any step -- backwards or forwards -- is progress tbh @annabethxchase, sometimes you have to go backwards to move on. The very fact that you're trying to move forward is progress I reckon! Smiley Happy

The toughest part for me would be when I replay the situations over and over and over and over and over and can't bring myself to stop the cycle.
How I move forward: I guess just constantly reminding myself that I'm overthinking and that what's happened has happened, move on. Talking with someone can bring me back to my senses though, and sometimes I'll do something creative so I feel more in control.

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

Thanks heaps @nyke

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

thats really great @Jess1-RO Heart

@annabethxchase @nyke you can only do your best at moving forward and working in the now and i know thats what your both doing, so you should be proud of yourselves Heart
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

@Jess1-RO thank you for posting this! I love your example! Reminds me of the saying "Lapse doesn't have to = Relapse" and that relapse doesn't mean you're starting at the beginning again, because you still have all the knowledge you learnt in the prior recovery Heart So glad that you've been able to identify signs and build your support network up Heart x

 

The toughest part: For me, the toughest part was getting help and being open and honest with the professional supports. Sometimes I still struggle with being open and honest with my support networks, but I'm getting better slowly.
How I moved forward: For me, it was a combination of things and I think a huge part is attributed to the mental health nurse I had towards the end of 2015. She taught me so many things and really got me comfortable with seeking help - for me that looked like increasing my ability to cope while in a counselling session - I used to go into panic attacks the moment that door closed!
It was also connecting with my current psychologist. I can honestly not talk highly enough of her Heart she's helped build such a supportive and safe space within our sessions that I've been able to continue working on opening up and talking more. She's also been the right amount of patient and understanding and the right amount of "push" in terms of helping me recover.


@annabethxchaseI found this exercise a bit difficult and I re-wrote mine a few times. I also wanted to say that it is totally okay to not feel like you are improving, It sounds like talking to helplines and here on RO you're able to cope with things. Do you agree?


I like what @nyke said about any step - backwards or forwards, is progress. I wanted to add to that; even staying in one place, eg not moving forwards or backwards is still progress too! And I believe this because it shows that you are maintaining your mental health at the current level, and sometimes that can involve a lot of work and effort. And I think that is something we need to remind ourselves of more, that progress doesn't always been improving.
And I know for me I've been there multiple times, where I've felt like my progress has plateaued. And I think we need to recognise that this is okay too. That just because we've plateaued (so to speak) for a bit, it doesn't mean that we aren't working on our mental health, and I think it's important to reflect upon what else is going on around that time when we feel like we've plateaued, because if there is a stressful event say Christmas and New Years which have just been, it could be that we are just coping with it and doing well to keep where we are. (Does this make sense?)


Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

Thanks @Bee Heart

Yeah, those things really help me Smiley Happy

That makes total sense, thanks so much @Bee, that made me feel a ton better Smiley Very HappyHeart

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

You're welcome @annabethxchase Heart
I'm glad the reflections have helped make you feel a bit better about it all Smiley Happy
That's where I LOVE the image @Jess1-RO included in the initial post, it feels so accurate to any recovery! (Except my math part of my brain is annoyed because it's not 100% accurate, in that you can't go backwards in time hahaha)

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

I know that I'm 2 days late at this point (I hope that's okay), but I'm in the mood for this right now.

 

The toughest part: the toughest part for me would be the constant feeling of defeat every time I have a bad spurt of anxiety, and not telling anyone. I have designed this unrealistic image that I should be "fixed" and nothing should go wrong because I've received good treatment. Ultimately, the toughest part has been coming to terms with the fact that recovery is more accurately depicted as the 'reality' image in the first post. Another tough part for me has been dealing with the fact that I have a mental illness. Those two words honestly scared the hell out of me when I was sitting in the GPs office three years ago, and my stubborn younger-self convinced my equally vulnerable younger-self that the GP was lying. Living with some degree of denial has been kinda challenging.

 

How I (am still) moved moving forward: I don't think I have, but I have, because I know that recovery is not linear (it literally still gets me as I'm writing this :/). Opening up on this forum has helped me a lot. I'm learning to be more self-aware of my emotions, and to challenge them when I think they aren't helping me (sidenote: is it normal to have actual arguments with yourself in your head?). My improvements have been small, but I guess they're something.

Re: Wellbeing Wednesday Activity- 2nd Jan 2019

Hey @unwind - of course it's ok to post a few days after Wednesday - really glad that you did Smiley Happy 

 

Thank you so much for sharing - I think a lot of us can relate to that feeling of recovery not being linear - and being more of a journey than any kind of destination. I can hear that you've been on a massive journey of acceptance, and learning more about yourself. 

Being self-aware of your emotions, and opening up online are both massive things to be proud of! It's so true that even when improvements feel small - like they often do - they should be celebrated. Heart

 

I might also share my own reflection to this while I'm here: 

The toughest part of recovery: For me the hardest part has been the fear of getting worse instead of better - reigning in spiralling thoughts and reminding myself of progress can be really really difficult. But a bad thought, moment or day, does not mean going backwards. 

 

How I (am still) moved moving forward: I copied you on that one @unwind - 

Being "fixed" isn't realistic for any of us, as we are all flawed humans. But the pursuit of a better life - whatever that looks like - is a worthy one. 

I am moving forward by focusing on the things that are important to me - and by being committed to my own wellbeing. Routine, exercise, continuing because continuing is the only option, distractions.. a whole cocktail of strategies and supports and decisions helps me to move forward every day.  Heart

 

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I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here