Why, hello there!
My name is Raquel Lyons and I am currently a twenty-four year old Psychology (BS) senior (for the last two years, I swear) at UMass Boston. It’s taken me soooo long to revamp this ‘About Me’ section of my WordPress blog, so, bear with me!
I began RecoverytoWellness back in May 2016. Initially it was 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. I still haven’t, actually, but that’s neither here nor there. We had just spoken about WordPress in a meeting at the Mass Media, my university’s newspaper, 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 vent my emotions in one of my many creative ways. You see, I am an avid artist. I do creative writing, sketches, watercoloring, painting, photography, filming, scrapbooking 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 hamster, Galaxy!).
Back in June 2016 I got my Labrador retriever mix puppy Mokeys AKA Mocha down in Rhode Island. She’s a rescue pup with the most gorgeous gray eyes and I love her to bits. Her birthday is March 4th and we celebrated it in 2018 with a lovely cupcake. Galaxy, my other pet, is about a year and a half old, the old little 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. (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, a nonprofit organization… 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 and Recovery Restoration have come out of it and I am ever so grateful.
Not only did Recovery to Wellness become a blogging website, but a Youtube channel (RecoverytoWellness) in December 2016 and a Twitter account (@RecoveryRaquel) in April 2017.
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 in In Our Own Voice presentations and a trained peer-to-peer mentor, 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) and borderline tendencies. I’ve attempted suicide a few times, though I don’t consider myself a suicide attempt survivor as the attempts were not severe. I struggle with my identity and knowing who I am without the struggle, who I am without identifying myself as a suicidal blob and feeling pressured to act on my suicidal thoughts because no one will take me seriously otherwise. I glorify suicide in my head, very, very much which really isn’t that great (despite how much my brain tells me it is). I struggle with avoidance behaviors, all or nothing thinking, procrastination, self-sabotage and a few others that I’m probably forgetting.
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 better every day. There’s so much more I could say, but I think my writings for the newspaper and my blog posts in general can represent myself better than the words I’m placing on this page right now.
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.
Fanfiction.net (all Loki centered Avengers fanfic): Unmasked Potential