5 Amazing Reasons to Attend A Support Group

Ever since being diagnosed, I have done a lot of research on things that would help me manage my mental health.  Support groups are a great way to manage your mental health in a positive way.  I have attended many support groups and I love all that support groups stand for.  Below are 5 great reasons to attend a support group.

  1. Shared Experiences – When you attend a support group, you meet up with people who share similar experiences and circumstances as you.  This allows you to feel comfortable. 
  2. Open and honest communication – You can engage in honest communication about your experiences with people who are familiar with what you are going through without the judgement you may face from those who are not in similar circumstances.
  3. Sense of community – You feel like you are a part of an exclusive club when you a part of group of peers who share a similar experience.
  4. Comparison of resources – Being in a support group is a great way to share tips, resources, and advice on your illness and treatment.
  5. Developing and understanding of your situation - When you surround yourself with people who share similar expeiences as you, you are able to look at your situation in a way that you may not have done so in the past.  This gives you a new outlook on your circumstances, and this may be for the better.  


If you are dealing with a mental health issue and are looking for a healthy way to deal with it.  Consider a support group.  It may be just what you need.  


Publication Alert!!!!! Publication Alert!!!!!


I am a magazine junkie!  I love physical magazines, and I even love online magazines.  What I love most about magazines is the creativity that it takes to put one together.  Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work for a children’s magazine and I also freelanced for some women’s magazines.  My fascination for magazines run deep.  I am always on the lookout for the next best thing.  For me that is something that is creative as well as informative.  These days, my passion is mental health and demystifying the stigma surrounding mental illness.   When I found Blueprint, I knew I had struck gold.  This is an online and print publication that covers all topics related to mental health.  It was started by students from Cambridge University.  The website contains great articles and stories as well as creative works and beautiful pieces of art.  They tackle subjects such as drug addiction and sexual assault.  This was a breath of fresh air to see such a beautifully produced zine that focuses on a topic that is so near and dear to my heart.  It is worth a visit to the website for a fresh perspective on the issues that face those dealing with mental illness.




Walk in Mental Health Clinics, Are they Necessary?





I read an article online from The Huffington Post about the lack of walk in mental health clinics.   The writer of the article lives in Canada.  A couple of years ago, when the article was written there was really no place for people to go if they were having a mental health crisis in Canada.  This has since changed.  A quick google search revealed there are several walk in mental health clinics in Canada.  This does not seem to be the case here in the United States.  Just thinking back to all of the times that I considered myself to be in the midst of a severe mental crisis, I never had a place that I could go to right away and seek the attention of a mental health professional.  I would have to wait to be “squeezed” in for an appointment and by the time that would happen, my feelings of rage or despair would wane, or I would have already acted on my impulsive and irrational feelings. Something about this picture is just not right. 

Photo by Erkan
When I am physically ill, and have symptoms, I can call my primary care physician for a “sick appointment” and get an appointment rather quickly.  If it is more urgent, I can go to the nearest hospital emergency room and get immediate attention.  This should be the same case when a person is experiencing a mental health emergency, and not just in the event of a person experiencing homicidal or suicidal feelings. Although these are very important situations to be in that require the utmost care and attention as well. 

I can recall several times in the past when I felt like I was at the lowest of my lows, and I reached out to my therapists for help.  I had some therapists who were able to see me the same day, and others who would not be able to see me for a couple of days.  When a person is in the middle of an emotional downward spiral and feel like they are losing total control, the last thing that they want to be told is that they need to wait a day or 2 before they can see a mental health professional.  Hearing this may exacerbate the patient’s condition.  I think that there is an immediate need for walk in mental health clinics.  These facilities need to be readily available just like walk in health clinics.  People are suffering in silence and once these types of services and facilities are readily available, this will be a step in the direction of accepting that mental illness is real and that people do need help for their mental health issues.  



Photo by Erkan  Utu from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-daylight-door-entrance-239853/

Out List : 2018 Edition

I have never been a person to make new year’s resolutions.  I have known that for as long as I can remember that my chronic procrastination would swoop in and my so-called resolutions would be out of the window, and I would be on to something else within a couple of weeks. 

I often speak about my recovery and the progress that I have made over the last couple pf months.  I am very excited about the positive changes that I have made, and I am equally excited about the continued progression.  I am looking forward to the New Year that is rapidly approaching.  As I look forward towards the new year, I have compiled an “Out” List.  The out list are actions that I will no longer allow myself to participate in or be a part of.  This list is also very much in line with maintain my positive progress for the upcoming year.
2018 Out List 

2018 Out List
Overthinking
Overindulging
Negativity
Procrastination
Self-Doubt
Judgements
Inactivity
Sleep Deprivation
Indecisiveness
Waste
Abuse
Ignoring My Intuition
Fear
Isolation
Complacency
Assumptions

While I am absolutely clear about the behaviors and actions that I no longer feel the need to participate in, I am curious what is on your “out” list?



What’s in My Recovery Arsenal?

As I navigate my way through this journey called recovery, I learn many things along they way.  I have begun the habit of finding the lesson in every situation that I am faced with.  When I allow myself time to be with my thoughts, I can make connections about my illness, symptoms, triggers, and past behaviors that I now must take responsibility for.  I believe that self-discovery is the byproduct of recovery.  I have found that I am learning so much about myself and in awe at times.  Many of these beliefs and thoughts were always embedded in me.  Now, I can clearly recognize and identify them.  I have devised a list of the tangible and non-tangible items that are in my recovery arsenal.
Humor
 Gratitude
Reflection
Meditation
Medication
Therapy
Prayer
Avoiding Negative Energy
Recognizing My Triggers


For all of you who are in recovery, what items are in your recovery arsenal? 

Photo by David Bartus from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/analogue-art-box-chest-366791/