In part one of this series we talked about what it means to believe that we can recover from a mental health disorder. This notion that we can recover is a vital piece of the puzzle because if we do not believe we can recover, we won't be able to. It also takes a belief by those around us.
Recovery is not something that happens overnight. It can take many years to recover. You might be asking yourself f recovery is worth doing if it can take years to accomplish. Instead, ask yourself the question, "if I don't do this now, what will I be doing two years from now? Will I still be looking at recovery as impossible? What if I had taken the opportunity two years ago to start my recovery process?" Hope plays a important part in anyone's recovery.
It is not uncommon for people with a mental health disorder to look at this long journey and feel defeated before starting. The second step we need to take with recovery is to realize that we need to crawl before we can walk.
Taking your first small steps in recovery can be the biggest ones you may ever take. These first steps require us to step out of our comfort zone we have learned to be attached to. Taking our first steps means that we not only have to believe we can recover, but that we need to start taking actions and setting up a plan to recover.
Some of these steps might involve setting up a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, or WRAP Plan. Another step might be to try to find a place to volunteer to get the feel of working again. Another step might just be to be in the community more so we can become ready to feel more comfortable with others, so we can maybe get a job in the community.
Whatever your next step in recovery is, whatever your plan might be, just remember that you are not on the road less traveled. Today more people with mental illness recover than those who haven't yet.
In the third article in this series, we will be talking about how to work through your next recovery step by setting up an action plan designed by your very own Chicago Mental Health Examiner. Look for more in "Part three" of this series.