On Thursday 4th July Erin from Write to Recovery joined the group for the first of five sessions this month.

In their own words “Write to Recovery” say the following about the process they use with community groups around Scotland.

Write Your Way to Recovery

Everyone has a story. Writing it down can help you in many different ways.

Write to Recovery is for anyone who has ever experienced some sort of distress, emotional difficulty or mental ill-health. It invites you to write your stories and experiences – and gives you tools to inspire you.

Many people spend time being assessed and assisted by mental health professionals and social services. Naturally, the conversations are often focused on the negative effects of distress, emotional difficulties and mental ill-health. For some people this might include problems and difficulties like drug or alcohol problems, unemployment, suicidal thoughts, traumatic experiences etc.

As a result of repeating these conversations over time, the problems and difficulties begin to define who the person is. For example, the person’s ‘story’ might become ‘I am someone with a drug problem’ or ‘I am someone who has had a traumatic experience’.

However, every story has a flip side, a positive side, a plot where you become the hero of your tale, and by engaging with groups, Erin and her colleague Emma help people to share stories of how they survive and thrive, even in the face of ongoing issues and symptoms.

Recovery does not mean the same as “cure” – it’s about knowing you can be well, happy and live even when you still have dark days.

You can read other peoples stories of recovery and add your own at their website here

Today’s topic was “Surviving and Recovery,” and the group shared examples of how they keep themselves going, how they deal with some of the barricades their epilepsy throws up for them, and the general mental well being issues it creates for them.

Some tears were shed as more than one person thanked their peers for helping to create a welcoming space where they could be understood, and how people were making changes in their day to day life as a result of what they are learning about themselves.

The group then spent about ten minutes writing in their own style about thoughts they’d had after the discussion. Some people shared their work, others felt more comfortable keeping it private.

However, Chris and Caitlin gave permission for me to share what they had written (see below)

Chris wrote the following;

Chris poem 4th July

“Recovery, recovery, recovery

How long you gonny take?

Recovery, recovery, recovery

Hurry up fur God’s sake!

Recovery, recovery, recovery

My brain like scrambled egg

Recovery, recovery, recovery

I’m going back to bed…”

While Caitlin wrote;

Caitlins poem 4th July

“Coming to a place where people know what you feel, makes me feel more comfortable there.

I feel so much happier in a place that is nice and calm

I can be the real person I know I am

Everyone here knows what I’m feeling

It makes me feel like a real HUMAN BEING”

 

Feedback from the participants included –

  • “I’ve learned that I haven’t to beat myself up so much & be more open to others, and accept things as they are”
  • “I like that everyone shared their stories in life and I’ve learned that people can move on from the past and grow strong”
  • “I found it hard at times because it made me think about all the things I currently do to deal with “stuff” and maybe I need to change these, like when I am in a low mood. Really made me think”
  • “I liked being able to express my words and to write stuff down. I really enjoyed myself”
  • “I’ve learned what recovery means, and it’s not just being in the hospital”

 

The next session will be in a couple of weeks on 18th July.

Peter Dale

Epilepsy Futures Coordinator