Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP): Impacting Lives

(WRAP facilitators and participants are submitting their stories to the BHRS blog to share how WRAP has impacted their lives. This first submission is by Jeanette Neal who works as a Family Partner for BHRS and is a WRAP facilitator)

“I am a survivor of multiple traumas. I never allowed those unwanted events to be the definition of whom I am or whom I wanted to become. I turned my back on those memories and always moved forward with the feeling that nothing more could ever disrupt my life because I was in control.

One mother’s day, my love, my friend, and my soul mate for life died in our back yard from an ATV accident.  At that point my life changed. The previous layered trauma, topped with the abrupt horrific death of my husband, and being sued by his family, sent me into a lonely and ill state of depression.

I lost my job and my family took over my home, my life, and my financial responsibilities to care for me.  When I began to feel better I struggled with family members to take back my responsibilities and put my home in order according to what I needed. My relationship with my siblings suffered and I had to rediscover who I was alone as me. I didn’t know what I liked, I had forgotten what it felt like to have a meal alone, and behind my smiling face I struggled with the sadness and fear that something could happen again and I had no control over it.

6 years later I was introduced to Mary Ellen Copeland’s “Wellness Recovery Action Plan” WRAP. I latched on to it because I recognized that it could relieve my constant suffering.  WRAP has given me the security to know that I have a safety net, a plan. It’s a plan that I created, a plan that I can modify as I evolve, a plan that my family members know about. WRAP helped me to rediscover what I’m like when I’m well.  WRAP is what I wake up to as I begin my day with a meditation and review my plan for the day. If I begin to identify warning signs, I can respond with my designed plan for that particular trigger. It has been the greatest gift I have ever given to myself.

Although crap can have a way of presenting itself in my life, I can accept it because I have seeds planted to live with Wellness, to embrace Recovery in all its stages, to initiate my Action for continued maintenances, and have security in knowing that I have a Plan. The loveliest sunflowers I have ever experienced have grown out of a pile of fertilizer.”

Jeanette Neal

(For more information on WRAP, check out the Voices of Recovery website at: http://www.vorsmc.org/)