By Anita Manley
Several years ago, I was privileged to participate in a peer led group called WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). The concepts that I learned from this group, set me up with a strong foundation for my ongoing recovery. The 5 Key Concepts of this group are:
1)Hope 2)Personal Responsibility 3)Education 4) Self-Advocacy 5)Support
I have written a bit about hope and support already. It is important to note that when talking about support, we mean both “giving and getting” support. It’s a two-way street.
In this post, I’d like to focus on taking “personal responsibility” for your actions, wellness and recovery.
For me, I was actually unable to start my recovery journey until I took full responsibility for my illness. I had to look at myself straight in the face and say: “Hey, you’ve lost EVERYTHING in your life due to these delusions you believe to be true. EVERYONE (including professionals) is telling you that they are not true. So, you have to give up believing them in order to see your daughters again.” Once I took responsibility for that, I was off to the races and my entire focus, and energy, went into getting better again. I did everything I was advised to do by my psychiatrist… from taking medications, attending groups, and talking to professionals, with the singular goal of seeing my daughters and rebuilding my life.
During her research of people living in recovery of a mental illness, Mary Ellen Copeland, (the creator of WRAP®) found that those people who continued to blame others for their mishaps (e.g. if only my kids would behave, if only my husband would help out more, if only…) were less likely to recover, than those who took personal responsiblity and moved on with their life. Those who took personal responsibility, were much further along in their recovery. The others were stuck in the “blame game”.
In my example, I could have continued to blame those whom I thought were responsible for my delusions, but after taking WRAP®, I decided to own it myself. I also stopped saying “why me?”. I am forever grateful for this group. I liked it so much that I became a peer-facilitator and offered the first WRAP® for Women group in the Women’s Mental Health Program at The Royal back in 2012.
By taking personal responsibility for my actions. and by implementing all of WRAP®’s Key Concepts, I’ve been able to completely transform my life.
WRAP® is offered world-wide. Perhaps you can find a group near you.