How I Got Better Part 1 | Article

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Have you been struggling with your mental health? Me too! You are not alone in this, fellow reader! So let’s jump in on some of my own made up suggestions for how we help ourselves to get better. Some of these may not work for you as we are each unique individuals so you are encouraged to come up with your own brand of suggestions (and you get an extra virtual gold star if you share them in your own article).


Throw yourself completely into something else–preferably *not* a bus. Do this more figuratively than literally and we should all be okay! By this, I mean really immerse yourself into some other task; whether it is reading, watching movies or TV or just completing a word search, aim to be mindful and in the moment as much as you can be. If socializing works for you, get your mind off your own problems and focus in on someone else’s.


Reach out for help. I am always saying this and only recently in 2018 did I stop doing it and it landed me in two new hospitalizations (so clearly, it didn’t work for me to ignore this tip). Reach out to someone who is supportive of you whether that is a friend, family member, the Counseling Center located on the second floor of the Quinn building, a stranger, a hotline, almost anywhere and anyone. Talking out your struggles to a piece of sandpaper can help too, although you’ll probably get more resources out of a living person.


Be listened to. This is an important distinction, when you don’t want advice from people (like me in this article) tell the person straight up that you just want to be heard and given their attention. That way this person whom you trust and know will know when to zip their lip on any advice that you really don’t want to hear.


Go to the hospital. I know, I know ‘But, Raquel, I don’t *want* to go to the hospital!’ I can already hear your dismay, but sometimes our wants are not our needs. Take me, for instance, I was handwriting this article on my twelfth hospitalization. It was a new record, one I didn’t really want to get to, and even though I really, really did not want to go, I knew that I needed to. I put my needs first and I can officially say that ‘Recovery Raquel’ is back in the driver’s seat! (I even opened up to my psychiatrist saying that I was as content as a butterfly sunbathing on a rose petal, so, I’m pretty darn stable now!)


While you’re at the hospital, get your medications (if you’re on any) adjusted! Be wary if people there actually *lower* your meds and also try to be as compliant as you can. If you already have an outside prescriber the med change will be for a few days until you can get them straightened out on the outside.


Recall your values. If you are going to be staring blankly at ER walls you might as well ponder your values, your hopes and your dreams rather than thinking about suicide. That is the mission of my #RecoveryHome idea (which I’ll explain in greater detail in a future article). Remember what it is that you value in life. Me? It’s honesty, openness, hope, creativity and positivity. Brainstorm all the ways you can return to this level of homeostasis. Maybe it’s keeping busy so your brain can’t possibly play other loop tapes, maybe it’s finding a new film or book you really enjoy, or visiting a local shop. Whatever it is that reminds you of your values, make small steps into working them into your day to day life.


Spend some time journaling. Do this in whichever way your heart desires. I have started a blank journal for all my noteworthy recovery journey drawings–Recovery Restoration Volume 3–that feature a snapshot of a significant moment (think the butterfly on the rose petal) that I then put onto paper both for my own reference and for a future book. I have also continued to journal in a silvery rainbow one with lined pages as a way to dump my art ideas and mention my thoughts.


Along with journaling, list out your accomplishments and goals. In my planner I write a SotD or score of the day from one to ten where ten is amazingly fantastic to one being really, really pants. I tend to average an eight. I’ve recently started to also list up to ten accomplishments of my day and then plan forward with goals I have for the next day–a good range being three to five. Some days I can have really huge accomplishments and others little ones–both matters!

Disclaimer: All of my advice comes from my own lived experience struggling with mental health and is not meant to replace the help you should seek out with actual mental health professionals.

This article was written on February 18.2018, and typed on February 26.2018.

I will be uploading this piece tomorrow, February 27th to let my other article sit and be soaked in and for my additional blog post of my return to be held on center stage, too. Does that make sense? I hope so. I’ll probably have Part 2 of this piece up by Wednesday. 🙂 Thank you for reading!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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