Crystal’s WRAP Story

I learned to trust myself to make better decisions in my life on a daily basis. It has been a long challenging adventure. My desire to journal my thoughts, travels and entertainment kept me moving forward acknowledging my strengths. I too share these dates, my recovery starting in 1996, absorbing Mary Ellen’s books at that time. Advocating in Juneau Alaska, Washington DC and locally getting involved in community efforts to educate others about mental health Wellness possibilities began for me in 1997. 18 years. NAMI & MHA, TRUST, Foraker, Conferences, presentations, borough elected official (ya people actually voted for me here in Kenai). My accomplishments over the years are exactly in proportion with my WRAP education & activities.

I don’t celebrate things very often; WRAP has given me the ability to have many experiences to remember with pride and fascination. I don’t like looking back at the horrors or pain, or even the reasons for those past issues or events. The mean and evil…difficult times when I had no control, didn’t know it and sure wasn’t able to fix it. The Cancer attack of winter 94-95 really sent me spiraling down into a very dark place. I Beat it. Now in this year, 2015, it all starts off with the most fantastic display of fireworks up and down the Kasilof River flats here in Alaska. They celebrate many days with boom-boom fireworks, especially in the dark winters. Once again I am grateful for the inspiration to learn to create new memories in celebration of Wellness!

Education, reading books, activities, taking the time to really think about what I needed to do to make my mind calm down, my pain go away, and maybe get some sleep. Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually, I needed a lot of Healing. I knew I had a long road ahead of me. I never realized I would find so many ways to feel better inside and out. Changes – “Life is change & I adapt easily to the new”. The 5 key concepts kept me focused. I created a wellness toolbox that became so big I realized I lived in my box. I created an environment I loved to live in. Then crashed and burned (lol again), just to be boomeranged into an even more phenomenal adventure in nature with my big dog over the last year. My purpose is to be Me!

In 2006 I went to my first WRAP class. I was like “Yes” here is the way to share what I have been doing for 10 years. A whole week of intensive workshop group bonding that led to organizing two more workshops here in Soldotna. (My contribution in Mary Ellen’s “The WRAP Story” [2008] (page 154) WRAP Online (2010) helped me to realize I needed to complete some information, especially so others who really do care and want to help know what to do. Those who won’t be offended by following my instructions. Advance Directives firmed up. Things change. Updates are necessary.

Like hope, love, integrity, I know WRAP can never be taken away from me. Peer support keeps me going to this day. Setting my boundaries and courageously fortifying them safely protects my mind. Visualizing my future adventures also directs me toward continued wellness. Mary Ellen provided resources to lead me in the right direction without any difficulty at all. I learned a multifaceted way to figure out what I needed and wanted.

Instead of being encased in the past, I started imagining future activities I have always dreamed of being able to do in a positive way. Now I am doing them. Carefully making plans, monitoring daily activities, establishing better routines all the time, all of these choices help me to have a quality life. I just rarely thought of Celebrating.

I had to change my behavior, my reactions. Learning about injuries in childhood opened my mind to what the heck happened to Me? I had TBI’s as a baby…burns.., PTSD’s, bucked off a horse, snow machine accident with lacerated liver and broken ribs and whiplash jaw neck injuries as a teen to name a few. So WRAP not only helped me with my emotional issues, I was able to use and apply valuable information to my physical and spiritual health also. I thank Mary Ellen and your crew at the Copeland Center. I miss all the webinars, but am satisfied I participated when I could.

Personal responsibility takes effort and practice, it takes motivation to keep finding what works and identifying what does not work. I encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone and enjoy. Take action! Make a movement in any direction you are comfortable with It’s about MOTIVATION, Attitude, Action. “A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t go anywhere until you change it.” I really didn’t have a clue in 1996. Ulterior motives. Motivation Motive motion. It is a Force. I force myself out of my comfort Zone into a Stretch zone, on to risk then die zone. Always testing boundaries and gaining more comfort. You don’t have to do it all just do your best. Celebrate Your Life!

If we help just One other person we have accomplished a great deal. All those sayings lead by example; be the change love until it doesn’t hurt which may be from a distance. I have the time to stop and contemplate the view, listen to the birds and nature around me, to accept the tears and understand the natural release of toxins. Oh I still have to live with and identify triggers, how to avoid confrontations and to vocally advocate for myself.

In Loving Memory of my friend Linda Morgan-Trueblood and my Alaskan buddy Mark Vincent, I am Hiking for Hope in Alaska! Lots O’ Love to my Mom and Dad, Darleen and Paul Morrison who have held my hand and kept me going all these years.

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