Deb’s WRAP Story

When Things Are Breaking Down I Am Empowered Now

WRAP has added a toolbox to my daily life which have given me skills, awareness, and a new thought life. The result of having this new toolbox in my life is I am able to recognize when I have different levels of obstacles and challenges. This ability has evidently reduced the time and severity of downswing episodes.

I was referred to WRAP by a mental health provider, who had attended a workshop to learn to facilitate a WRAP group, and she wanted to share it with us. We began meeting once a week as a group. The first two or three weeks I was still thinking this was ‘just another group’ to attend, I didn’t realize at first the power in the process, and I did not have high expectations about the results.

What I discovered, about four weeks into the program, I began to ‘think’ about the discussions we had in group, I noticed triggers, and I was more aware of my reaction to those triggers. I was gradually more aware of my options, the toolbox (which I created), and how I could address situations which were once invisible to me.

The past seems to be a long chaotic roller coaster. It appeared to be outside of my control. I often did not realize how far down the scale of wellness I had slipped until I was wrapped in a blanket unable to get out of bed. Even then I was unaware of the severity of my situation and I rarely reached out for help. It was after I began to move toward wellness I would seek help. By then, things had changed; helpers were limited (as they had not seen me in the worst condition), so they were unable to evaluate my challenges.

Today, after going through the WRAP program (our group’s first phase), I have clear road signs on the scale of wellness. I have a map I have created (with the guidance of WRAP). Each level of my wellness has specific characteristics, ideal tools to use, alternatives when wellness moves from one notch on the scale to another. Instead of being on a journey with no idea what is up around the next bend…seemingly without varying degrees of wellness, I have directions (which I have created for myself using the WRAP guide), and it is clear which way on the path I am traveling.

The next phase of our group will go deeper into each part of the plan we have drafted. Recently we took a closer look at three of our tools and expanded on them. I discovered many of my ‘reactions’ to challenges were contributing to the problem, and the steps I planned to take in a particular situation were vastly unrealistic. Today I can discover a step to take which is realistic and within my reach in my current life situation. We will be able to take the work we have done, revisit each tool, challenges, triggers, and expand it to help me to live day by day in a more informed way.

The most remarkable realization for me today is that when things are breaking down I have been empowered to help myself. I have a plan with specific instructions to follow, for myself, as well as my support team. It is a work in progress. WRAP has evidently become a life time process to develop my own personal response plan for my personal life obstacles and challenges. As I understand more, get to know myself better, learn new tools to deal with my wellness (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual), I can create specific detailed plans for every aspect of my life.

When I was given the tools to create a plan I started to see things I had not noticed before. I will not miss the little markers along the road as long as I keep these tools in mind.

Happy 18th Birthday!

Thank you for empowering me to improve my life!

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