Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own personal journey through recovery. I can’t say it’s been a smooth ride, but there has always been some sort of progression. Whether it was achieving a goal, or rebounding from a relapse, I have always taken a lesson from each pit stop, pot hole, and detour I’ve encountered along the way.
That doesn’t mean that it was easy. Management of disorder(s) is often a confusing and sometimes a painful process. Where does one start their own personal maintenance and how is the best way to go about it?
I’ve created my own little acronym to be mindful of my own process and what it takes for me to succeed in my treatment, management, and recovery in order to get to a better place.
Make a support network
Eat a healthy diet
It is incredibly important to be able to recognize symptoms of disorder, any levels of dysfunction in any area, and the emergence of any suspected medication side effect. In addition, we need to be aware of our own vulnerabilities. Though it may be painful, we should take the time to explore sensitive subject matters, so that we may familiarize ourselves with potential triggers.
It is important to monitor oneself in all of these areas for optimal health and wellness. We can then proceed to notify those in our support network and seek professional treatment.
- Potential symptoms of your disorder
- Personal triggers for symptoms
- Medication side effects and interactions
- Yourself about your disorder(s)
- Friends and Family about your disorder(s)
- Yourself on techniques to manage symptoms
- Yourself about all possible treatment options
- Yourself and your support network on all prescribed medications, what they are prescribed for, all of the potential side effects , and any potential interactions
There are many ways that one can educate themselves. A Canvas of the Minds hosts a Resources page. Here, we feature organizations and pages containing a wide variety of information for various disorders. In addition, here are a few of my favorite sites for more information on medicine, symptoms, interactions, and other topics:
- By mood / symptom charts
- Through notation of symptoms and any side effects
- By keeping a journal
- Using a blog
Whether it is a matter of beginning or continuing, treatment is the cornerstone of every recovery process. It is vital to mental health to be assessed and continually treated by a mental health professional.
- At-home workbooks
- Stick with the treatment plan
Make a Support Network
Support networks are important to our recovery process. Different people take different roles in our support network. Sometimes, we just need to air our emotions to work through our symptoms. Other times, we need the camaraderie of another who has gone through similar symptoms and situations.
Another educated party allows us to have an outside view. These people may be crucial to identifying symptoms we may not be aware of. They may also be able to stand between us and a dangerous or harmful act. Lastly, they are there to encourage us to get the help that we need.
They may include, but are not limited to:
- Support groups
- Online Forums
- Community Health Blogging
Many of us may have difficulty in this area. Sometimes, it may be a point of pride. Other times, it might be confusion when it comes to separating symptoms from typical reaction. Then, there are times where it might not be completely obvious. Others might hint or suggest that another is symptomatic.
Honesty is always the best policy. When we are honest with ourselves, we can then start to be forward with others concerning our own mental health and wellness. It is important to alert people central to our support network, in order to get quick and high quality support and treatment for immediate symptoms.
- With yourself
- With professionals
- With friends and family
- With others in your support network
- Address symptoms promptly
- Address side effects with medical professionals
Eat a Healthy Diet
Adequate nutrition is important to physical and mental health and wellness. Studies show that there is a significant mind / body wellness connection. When the body is healthy, then the mind has a better chance for better functioning, regulation, and wellness.
If I had a nickel for every time I thought, “Well if (insert name here) can do it, then why can’t I?” The truth is, I am not that person. Making a comparison between me and another is like apples to oranges. In any case, it’s always going to apples to oranges to melons to pears to etc. We may all be the same in category, but no two people are exactly the same. Therefore, there is no standard in which to work from.
Individualization is the goal. Even in treatment, we know that our own treatment is individualized for our own personal needs, pace, and symptoms. Just as no two people are the same, no two experiences with disorder are the same either. That’s why it’s important to be realistic about ourselves and our lives.
- For goals
- For different levels of functioning
- For treatment progression
- For symptoms
That’s why I always try to REMEMBER. REMEMBER-ing paves the road to my recovery.
- The Journey of Recovery (sunnywithachanceofarmageddon.wordpress.com)
- Bipolar Disorder Treatments (answers.com)
- What Are We Recovering From? Making a Case for Recovery (madinamerica.com)
© Tallulah “Lulu” Stark and A Canvas Of The Minds 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tallulah “Lulu” Stark and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.