Image by CSTRSK from Pixabay

The importance of empowerment in recovery

This week has been another steep learning curve in my recovery journey. I started off having a brilliant week, which included an amazing call with the community mental health team where I felt empowered and believed in. It was clear they listened to me and saw beyond the ‘blip’ I had a few weeks ago, they really did see it just as that, it was a ‘blip’ in a long journey that on the whole is going really well.

They can see the progress I am making and have put a plan together that further supports that progress. I am so pleased as so often when I have been poorly I have lost my voice, people have had to step in to take care of me and that in itself is very disempowering. It is great to have a community team that are willing to take the positive risks and trust in the journey that I am on.

I think I have become really aware of when I am feeling empowered or disempowered in a situation. Sadly, some hospital admissions have taken away some control and choice from me, sometimes deeming me not to have capacity and restricting my freedom. On occasions, I have felt like I was in prison, I have been detained and not able to leave the building, locked in and observed so closely. Not seen as fit to make the right decision in that time, told what to do and what not to do, items and belongings removed from me. Measures at the time were put in place to save my life, but have caused damage and harm to my self-confidence, which I am now trying to repair.

I feel like I am learning about my voice all over again and having a community team that is allowing me to speak, that is seeing the real me, is incredible. It makes me feel more relaxed to know that they are not just going to take over, that I am in control of my life, my decisions, my voice can be heard and it is safe to speak up again. It will be OK to ask for help from them because they see and hear me. I am going to be encouraged to keep going, keep on keeping on. Keep doing the things that I am doing that are keeping me well and enhancing my life and wellbeing.

Unfortunately, I had a terrible night last night with a horrendous nightmare and heard audible voices which has left me feeling very fragile and vulnerable today. I have learnt from the past that how I respond to nights like this is so important for determining what will happen on the days to follow. I feel like I have spoken out quickly, reflected on what the triggers were and caught myself before I have spiralled. I was able to ask for prayer at Church today at that has brought a sense of peace and comfort.

I felt really rocked by having such a terrible night, but I have a God that loves me and never leaves me, He is with me through all of this. Other things have gone well this week and I have enjoyed physical exercise; seeing and talking with friends and family; walking the dog; listening to powerful music; continuing to eat really healthily; finding the local church to be the one for me, a sense of belonging and community; generally just feeling more settled where I am planted right now.

Recovery is a funny term really, it is not a straight diagonal line in one upward direction, but more of a squiggle. I am OK with squiggle. As long as I keep looking forward, keep trusting in my journey, keep looking up to God as my guide, I will keep making my squiggly progress.

Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay 
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