Today I received a beautiful journal and a certificate in the post to say congratulations for completing the Eden therapy program. It’s safe to say I was reluctant to open it as I did not want to let go. Eden was offered to me late last year by one of my specialized counselors. Not really sure what it was all about I went for the assessment anyway. Later in the week I received a call to say I’d been accepted on the program and honestly if I got a certificate for completing all the therapy’s I’ve tried and failed I would have been more determined to finish and complete it.
Eden was something truly amazing. It was all down to choice. The choice to take part in the activities. The choice to say no that doesn’t work for me. The choice in how you went about your recovery.
There are five common processes that are considered essential in one’s recovery.
The first is CONNECTEDNESS. To feel like you belong where ever it may be. Social connection maybe in the changing rooms of the GAA club before a match. Maybe your social connections is the prayer ceremony you attend every Sunday with your family. It could be a group of friends. It’s knowing that your not alone and establishing the social connections that bring meaning to your life.
The second is HOPE. This one is my favorite. Everyone needs hope in their lives. We need hope day to day to stay motivated to live. If one doesn’t have hope for something better they will never aim for it. Hope is the belief that life can and will get better. The dark days will pass and the sun will rise. But we have to believe in that and when we believe we fight for it. Fight for the brighter dawn, the happier times. Know that what ever difficulties you face now, it will pass. Sometimes it just takes a bit of time and a longing of hope.
The third process comes under IDENTITY. We have to believe we are more than the struggles we are facing. I have depression but I am not depression. Separating ourselves from the suffering. Am I a service user of the mental health team? Yes but that doesn’t make me who I am. I am so much more than a service user, so much more than my diagnosis. I am me. I am bright. I am bubbly. I am ambitious. I’ve a love for fashion and art. I dislike wasps. It’s about having identities in life beyond that of a service user or diagnosis and knowing you are so much more than the label given to you.
The fourth one is MEANINGFUL ROLE. So what is a meaningful role? What brings meaning and purpose to your life? For me my routine is my meaningful role. That thing that gives me purpose. For others its their job/occupation. Maybe you love animals and every Saturday you go down to the horse riding school and interact with the animals? If it brings you a sense of contentment, joy, peace than that is a meaningful role. Maybe it’s being the big sister. Or the football captain. It’s about finding the activities in your life that build up your strengths and skills, that make you feel good. A meaningful role is not defined by one thing. It’s what works for you. What helps you.
And last but not least EMPOWERMENT. How does one feel empowered? We feel empowered when we have choice, when we have the ability to make our own decisions, decide our own life path. For eg. So it’s coming up to your leaving certificate and your worried. You really want to study drama but your father wants you to be a doctor. He owns the local GP practice and before that your grandfather owned it. It runs in your blood. You don’t want to be a doctor you want to study drama. Being empowered is when we feel we have the choice and we believe in ourselves enough to know we are making the right choice. Feeling empowered is an incredible feeling. To know your life is right in front of you and you are the director. You choose what’s ahead of you. It’s exciting. It’s exciting to know the power is in your own hands. That you can make it whatever you want to make it. Empowered is when you feel confidence in knowing your life is in your own hands. You have the reins and you steer the route you want to go.
If you haven’t by now realised how obsessed I am with the secret by Rhonda byrne your going to hear it all over again. The secret has taught me that anything is possible. If I can see it in my mind I can see it in real life. If you sit back and take a moment to be mindful. What dreams surround your mind? What places do you want to visit? What concerts do you want to attend? Life can be so truly amazing if one just believes that it’s possible.
I know recovery can be difficult. Especially if you feel stuck in it. I’ve thankfully come out the other side and I don’t have to fight to survive. I survive because I want too. Because I love my life. I know in times of hopelessness and despondency it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is there. And as the great Albus Dumbledore said
Happiness can be found in the darkest of places, if one just remembers to turn on the light.”
Guys believe me when I say recovery is possible and it can happen for you. I’ve been there and I’ve done that, been in the darkest places and even after surviving my suicide attempt with the train life still surprised me. When I woke up from the coma to find my teeth gone, my foot gone, unable to move any part of my body I was done. I cried for weeks on end unable to communicate wondering why I survived what I did. Less than 18 months later and here I am writing this in my home while Dylan cooks lunch. I did not believe there was any hope. Yet now I feel a happiness I had never before experienced in my life. A safe place, loving support around me. A future of infinite possibilities. Recovery is possible. One just has to believe.
Happy reading guys and I wish you all a fabulous week ahead.
Lots of love Katie xx
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