I Believe in Wellness and Recovery Because . . .

By Wren Cobb, Certified WRAP Facilitator 

I believe in wellness and recovery because I have personally intentionally identified and implemented the key recovery concepts of hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support in my journey and have seen those concepts elevate my wellness and advance my recovery.

Each recovery concept has been an instrumental element in different chapters of my story in different ways.

In the beginning of my story, the first chapter of wellness and recovery, there was an emphasis on hope and support—hope that the pain had purpose and support from those who were brave enough and kind enough to help me begin to pick up the pieces. But I knew I was the one who had to put the pieces together.

I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For me, this was the opposite of discouraging. I finally had a name for the monster in my head and a cause for the chaos in my life.

In the next chapter, personal responsibility came into play. It was time to put the pieces back together—slowly, but I was determined. I took my medications, attended therapy, and really put my mind to overcoming. It’s worthy to note that through each chapter, hope and support never left my side. They were ever-present reminders that my journey was not in vain, and I just had to put in the work.

When personal responsibility reached its peak and I finally realized it is up to me, I entered the era of education. I was hell bent on learning all I could about the monster I was fighting and how I could defeat it. After a long, hard-fought battle, I realized that slaying the monster once and for all was not an attainable goal. But maybe we could coexist.

In the current chapter of my story, the recovery concepts have finally all come together. I did not kill the monster, and he will probably always be by my side. But this time, in this part of my story, he knows his place. I use the concepts all together now to keep him in his place, and he simply serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come. I am now in control rather than afraid.

That is wellness and recovery for me. And if I believe in nothing else, I believe whole­heartedly and without question or doubt in wellness and recovery—not just for me, but for everyone in any chapter of their story.

Every decision I make is no longer about how I will survive. Every decision I make is about how I will thrive.