Why, hello there!
My name is Raquel Lyons and I am a twenty-eight year old who has earned her Psychology (BS) degree from UMass Boston.
I began RecoverytoWellness back in May 2016. Initially because I wanted to write articles about mental health awareness for payment elsewhere on the Web and found it difficult to find such a job. We had just spoken about WordPress in a meeting at the Mass Media, my university’s newspaper of which I wrote my articles for, so I bee-lined it to here and came up with a WordPress account in honor of my deviantART group: “Recovery-to-Wellness”.
I didn’t know it then but I set in motion a path of advocacy, mental health awareness, many, many following social media accounts and a safe place to share my emotions in one of my many creative ways. You see, I am an avid artist. I do creative writing, sketches, water coloring, painting, photography, filming, scrapbooking, graphic design and making beaded bracelets. I LOVE rainbows, rainbow lighthouses (which technically aren’t a thing but in my imagination they totally are!), lighthouses in general, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unicorns, wings, keys, hands (I have some especially nice hand photography, mainly my own, but sometimes other people’s, too!), gazebos, stationery, puppies, music and animals with small hands (like my little Chinese hamsters, Galaxy and Nova!).
Back in June 2017 I got my Labrador retriever mix puppy Mokeys AKA Mocha which if you check out my other socials, you’ll probably know about her! She’s a rescue pup with the most gorgeous gray eyes (though they’ve grown more brown over time) and I love her to bits. Her birthday is March 4th and we celebrated it in 2018 with a lovely cupcake. Galaxy, my former other pet, was two years old when he unfortunately passed across the Rainbow Bridge back in spring of 2019. Totally still miss the little old dude! Nova was my first Chinese hamster and we got him back in February 2016 and he sadly passed away in November 2016. I got Galaxy a few days after (so from Nov 2016 – Spring 2019). (If you want to learn more, there are posts about these guys out on my blog, I’m sure!).
Recovery to Wellness became a mission. It’s birthed multiple projects and dreams that I wish to unveil to the public: Recovery Restoration, #RecoveryHome, Recovery personas and Recovery Reinforcer… Recovery to Wellness is a movement, it’s a way of living by choosing recovery and wellness each moment that that choice presents itself. Recovery to Wellness is about hope, peer support, love, light, going from one pole (recovery) to the other (wellness) in both the online world and the offline world. Recovery to Wellness is where my slogan was born: “Where Survivors Radiate Badassery.” Recovery Home, Recovery personas, Recovery Reinforcer and Recovery Restoration have come out of it and I am ever so grateful. (And if you want more information on these projects, there will be dedicated posts to them in the upcoming future!)
I struggle still, and likely always will, just at differing intensities. Because I am a proud mental health advocate, working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts chapter in In Our Own Voice presentations and a Peer-to-Peer mentor in NAMI’s peer recovery class, I aim to share my struggles with mental health conditions on this platform and many others, for a few specific reasons. These reasons involve becoming a beacon of hope and light and recovery to my fellow survivors and to hold onto life when I am deeply struggling myself.
You see, I live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on self-harm and suicide obsessions, diagnosed back in fall 2014. I developed secondary depression in the winter break. I also live with trichotillomania (a hair pulling disorder, my longest actual mental health related disorder), dermatillomania (skin picking) and borderline personality disorder. I’ve attempted suicide a few times, though I don’t consider myself a suicide attempt survivor as the attempts were not severe. I’ve struggled with my identity and knowing who I am and am still on the lifelong journey of discovering that, although I think I did a pretty good job of describing myself to you guys from the start of this About the Author section! In the past, I’ve glorified suicide in my head and I still get urges yet I use my learned DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skills to cope through the moment and get through everything. I still struggle with avoidance behaviors, all or nothing thinking, procrastination, self-sabotage, poor time management, the hair pulling and skin picking, balancing my hobbies versus things like chores or cooking, and a few others that I’m probably forgetting.
However, despite all the bullshit I have found stability since beginning a day program three days a week at the start of February 2018. Well, maybe not at the very start of that journey but definitely having Passages as my go to place was HUGE. I’d say by mid-2018 I began full-on stability. I still have rough patches here and there of course but with maintaining my social media outlets and hoping to spread positivity as much of the time wherever I go, I can honestly say that life’s been really, really great. I’ve accessed my Recovery Raquel persona and it’s been a blessing and so utterly amazing. I’ve been able to juggle my hobbies, coursework where applicable, professional responsibilities and upkeep my social medias. Nowadays life is bright and awesome and amazing. Sure, the clouds do roll in, but most importantly, they roll away again, too. I believe in myself just as much as I believe in your resiliency to make it through all your bad days. You can get there, and so can I. ❤
I share my story with these mental health conditions because I truly believe my voice matters. I believe inherently that I matter and depression is lying to me, that my brain is lying to me and that together we can become something more, something better. I believe that we can rise above and dissipate the lies and misconceptions in the face of stigma.
I just want to be someone, really. I want to leave behind a legacy of some kind, and the bouncy houses in my horizon are growing bigger and brighter every day. I aspire to becoming a published author and creating endlessly until old age, ahaha. There’s so much more I could say, but I think my writings from the newspaper and my blog posts in general can represent myself better than the words I’m placing on this page right now (including the dreams I have ahead of me and the projects I’ve mentioned here that I wish to bring into the realm of existence 🙂 ).
I hope you gain something from my musings. Know that you are never alone, that there is hope and to hold onto life because things will get better. I am proof of that, even if I don’t always feel like it. Stay safe.
My Social Medias:
Fanfiction.net (all Loki centered Avengers fanfic), abbreviated the most as FFN: Unmasked Potential
Archive Of Our Own (AO3): UnmaskedPotential
Lastly, as of October 2020 I am adding a section of just links and a little synopses of videos already dispersed online about myself and my story. These include interviews and podcasts and video submissions. Some my own, some from others. I have not reviewed them all myself as of late but once I do I will likely add blog posts separately for each of them as well as a little description here about them. 🙂 Enjoy!! And feel free to contact me through a DM or through my Contact Page if you have any questions, speaking opportunities, need some positivity or want to chat! 😀 ❤
- “#RealOCD” Video Submission from fall 2018 (on my channel)
- “Recovery is Real” Passages Interview from Persistent Productions. This was filmed February 2019 and is up online to the Passages (my day program’s) website, Youtube channel and Facebook. If you’d like to comment I’d recommend Facebook as the channel won’t accept them. But yeah, this was such an excellent opportunity and it was something I wanted to feature within this new section here. I want to do a dedicated blog post to it but haven’t been able to yet. I did do a reaction video to it on my channel which you can find here. Lastly, it was so awesome and so cool to get them to come to my house and film my surroundings in my bedroom and I’m so honored by having this opportunity! Who knew exchanging business cards would open so many doors! 🙂 ❤
- The Oddball Show Podcast episode with Jason Wright in Dec. 2019. This was an interview styled podcast where I shared with Jason (whom I know in real life and taught my first P2P class with last year) more details about my fanfics (Unmasked Potential) as well as more about my recovery projects, my journey and the like. A future blog post to come very soon. ❤
- Helping Parents of Mentally Ill Children, interview with Bill MacPhee in June 2020. This is probably my least favorite interview because I got a little too consumed with details in regards to the OCD and I disliked that I made it sound like everything was uphill from 2016 on when that was NOT the case. Still, though, I’ve never gone back to rectify it but plan to by the end of the year. It may not even be as bad as I’m recalling!!! Curse you, OCD, though! >_>
- A Clip of My Video Submission for #BFRByourself launched in Oct. 2020 (filmed in June). You can also find a lengthier portion of this video clip showing various fidget toys here on my channel about trichotillomania and a little on dermatillomania.
And that’s all I have for now! Do check them out and give them some love if you have the time!! Thank you so, so, so much!! Sending you all light and love. 🙂 ❤
Last updated: 11/18/2021