Who’s in Control?

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This is blog 7 of a series of 10 blogs on this topic.  We’ve been sharing some thoughts and experiences of peer counselors J, K, M, R and Y, working with Recovery Innovations Arizona (RIAZ) both as participants in the system and as coaches helping others. The WRAP program through RIAZ makes a difference in peoples’ lives.

Many people feel like they are giving up their personal power because they have to take a medication or they have to go to therapy. They no longer feel in control of their emotions.  R describes that when people have some other diagnosis, like hypertension, or diabetes, they are required to make some adjustments in their life. Some of the adjustments might be medications or a change in lifestyle. “We view people with mental health challenges the same way. There’s a change of lifestyle and there may be some medications to help maintain that lifestyle that they want to improve and move forward in their own recovery.

“You’re not losing control. You’re actually gaining more support, support from your family, support from medical personnel, support from your peers. You’re getting the support and it’s going to help you stay well and keep you on the right path, moving forward in your progress in recovery.”  J adds, “I totally believe in my medication because I actually remember when it first worked for me and it gives me a life worth living. I value it very much but I also made many life changes over the years while taking the medication. It’s a part of your recovery, if it’s needed.”

Y agrees. “I’m not angry that I have to take a medication. I’m very happy that there’s a medication that’s making me feel better and be productive in society today and able to work. It’s not just the magic pill. You have to work with it and that’s where WRAP comes in for me. I can detect my early warning signs.”

It’s important to have a good support base system and then review the WRAP, Wellness Recovery Action Plan, with the supporter. If the supporter sees early warning signs or triggers, he or she will know what to do.  One of the issues about our culture and our society is that we have to be rugged individualists. Studies have shown that people using support groups have much better achievement, personal and career success and wellness in life. More on this next time!

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