Rebuilding Recovery Raquel | Article

By Raquel Lyons


“’Cause my mind won’t stop, it’s just 11 blocks, I know that you’re home….Someone stop me please from hurting myself, ‘cause I’m two blocks away and you’re hurting my health…Somebody stop me, I should be going home” – “11 Blocks” by Wrabel


My #RecoveryHome lies amongst Hope Avenue and the Recovery Residence stone marking. My Recovery Home houses a rainbow lighthouse to the right of my home’s property, and a gazebo to the left of the house. The house has heart shaped skylights on the roof, and a green front door with a pastel yellow, pink and green iris in the center. There’s a stationary room within my Recovery Home and the hilltop residence overlooks a small town down below. There’s a Barnes & Noble, a Target, a Paper Store and Michael’s Arts and Crafts store down there. There’s probably a café, too. And there’s definitely a library–probably one like the Thomas Crane Library in Quincy, MA, where there’s apparently some awesomely hidden stained glass hallway. My Recovery Home features the best of the best.


Down the front path, where there are a tunnel of trees shifting from spring, to winter and autumn there is Lapse Circle, Relapse Boulevard, and Bloomingdale Cove and then where the mental health conditions I live with reside. You might think they would reside within my Recovery Home themselves, and, maybe to an extent they do, but really they are housed all on their own on Kill Yourself Road. Recovery isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, and my imaginative plane of #RecoveryHome keeps that thought alive.


Where OCD, depression, self-harm and chronic suicidality reside, is a broken down home that once saw better days. Now, it’s old, dusty, filled with creepy crawlies and not a place apt for housing life. That’s why I’m building my Recovery Home eleven blocks away. It’s a bit of a walk, I’m sure, and as it should be.


My mental health conditions paint their home in a shadow of disillusionment. They make it seem like a home worth living in, but really, they’re awful, hideous roommates. They leave their dirty dishes sprawled across the kitchen, there are several openly and blatantly obvious suicide methods lying around the home already set up and “ready to go”, there’s food decaying in various corners and the floorboards are barely held together. The air is putrid and I think the septic system is busted.


And still, they make it seem like the house is in tippy top shape.


But, in reality, it isn’t. And I just can’t stand living there any longer.


So, I’m packing my bags and moving out. I’m moving eleven blocks up the street, and I’m telling all my friends, family, supportive networks and the community that I’m heading on this journey. I refuse to be silent about my story.


I’ll be walking past Coping Lane, and stopping by the Coping Tree to collect my keys of coping strategies. It’s time for me to re-recognize that I don’t leave these keys just on the tree; rather, they come with me upon my journeys and I use them to unlock higher levels in recovery.


I’ll be visiting Life Worth Living Alley, a golden walkway which sparkles in the sunlight. I’ll spend time at the Resources Reservation Park, to guide you through your own potential pitfalls and struggles. The park features a platform from which I’ll interview our community’s resources, what they do and their role in all of our journeys. At the Community Center, I’ll ask questions to our community and receive responses to their views on stigma, advocacy and the outlets that exist within our world to promote mental health awareness.


Together, we’ll clear up misconceptions about suicidality and how to continue talking about it through the Say the Word Suicide presentations in the large, white building dedicated to all those who we have lost to and whom have struggled with suicidality. The building is a memorial and an avenue for change in our future.


Lastly, upon my journey I will take a very important, very crucial lock. This lock is metallic silver, and there is no external key for it.


This lock represents the promise I am making with you all through this article. I safety contract to returning in the spring 2017 semester to explore all of the writings and streets listed above. I safety contract to not returning to the battered home eleven blocks away; I safety contract to not acting on any of my suicidal thoughts and self-harm from my writing this article December 5th to January 23rd 2017.


The key for this lock resides within my soul. And, I don’t say my soul is the color of a sparkling rainbow with a bright white light for nothing.


Stay safe and good luck.

 My kick ass final article for this semester!! Today’s been a weird day, been sleeping a whole lot on and off, so I meant to upload this hours ago but it just wasn’t coming around *i.e. I couldn’t focus*. Background music used while writing this piece: “Hold back the river” by James Bay.

I love that I was able to use another music prompt and went on a very creative journey with it using the #RecoveryHome theme. It’s also awesome because I created more to my #RecoveryHome and the town below it and that’s going to help fuel the rest of what I do when I pick up the project day #4 again. 🙂

And of course, it’s daunting and awesome that I’ve made a whole HUGE safety contract for everyone who reads this. 🙂 You can see some elements of what I’ve learned from crisis appointments intermingled into this article. I hope you get to enjoy it as much as I’m proud of it!!! 🙂