The date of January 13, 2005, is a date my husband and I will never forget. It was the day my Psychiatrist told me I had bipolar disorder. That moment actually compares to the emotional trauma I experienced in my childhood during my parents’ divorce. I was devastated and was resigned to the fact I would be in therapy forever.
I started taking medications and tried a number of different combinations over the last 10 years. I know the importance of taking my medications and have never had to go to the hospital for hurting myself, but the gravity of my thoughts of such should not be taken lightly. That is where my WRAP plan comes into effect. I was introduced to the WRAP plan by a new therapist I started seeing two years ago. She mentioned the word “RECOVERY.” That was a new concept to me and sounded foreign. I did not know a diagnosis was something to recover from. Through WRAP, my belief of being in therapy for the rest of my life was incorrect. In one way, that meant freedom, yet on the other hand, it was a little bit scary. I checked out the WRAP plan and decided maybe I could do this if I wanted to live my life without being controlled by a diagnosis.
My husband considers WRAP as a gift for him to UNWRAP. He looks at the printed copy of my WRAP plan whenever he is unsure of what steps to take to support me. I could not ask for a better family to support me, but here it is in black in white, which is extremely helpful. WRAP has shown me how to identify my triggers, such as feeling overly criticized, or using the word “crazy” to describe someone that has a mental illness.
My adult daughter also has access to my WRAP plan by looking at it on my phone app. She has been made aware of the early warning signs and when things are breaking down. I have communicated to my therapist what my WRAP plan is as well. Now that I no longer consider myself “in therapy,” with WRAP, she has something to refer in order to better help me when I am in crisis.
Instead of believing bipolar is a devastating diagnosis, through WRAP, I know that recovery is possible it does, indeed, mean freedom!