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.




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/

Living a Good Life with Mental Illness is Totally Possible


After I came to terms with my diagnosis, I began doing more and more research on the topic of mental illness and mental health.  I wanted to know what kind of information was available, and was there a glimmer of hope that could be shed on my situation. Would I eventually be a person who would end up in a hospital with a grim future to look forward to? The thoughts were sad and depressing.

In my research, I came across the Ted Talks video that was presented by Elyn Saks on her experience living with schizophrenia, which is a chronic mental disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  While this disorder is not as common as many of the other mental illnesses, this can be very disabling.  As I watched her speak about her mental condition, her experiences, and her accomplishments, she gave me hope. She is a law, psychology, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences professor at USC Gould School of Law, she is an adjunct professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego; and faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis.  She received her law degree from Yale Law School and her PhD from New Center for Psychoanalysis.  She is quite an accomplished scholar.  She has written many books and published several articles.

She gave me hope that I can live a good life despite having a mental health disorder.  Let me be clear about something, living well with a mental disorder does takes lots of patience, and hard work, but it is definitely worth it.  You are not doomed, and your life is not over.  Once the shock and denial of this type of diagnosis wears off, that is when the real work can begin. 

The stigma of mental illness in my opinion is the deterrent of so many people to living their best lives. 

There is still so much shame and embarrassment around these illnesses and are often looked at as less serious than other illnesses. The time has come to have these conversations about mental illness and educate all of those who are afraid and uneducated about the subject.