by Marie Finegan, MS
Marie Finegan, MS is Dr. Copeland’s granddaughter. She has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is an incredibly effective addictions counselor. She teaches and lives WRAP. Building and maintaining your Wellness Toolbox is a key tool in supporting your WRAP plan. Learn more from Marie’s WRAP story below.
What does it feel like to feel good? Easy enough question right? So easy, I was still trying to come up with an answer days later.
If I was being honest with myself…I had no idea what it felt like to feel good, so I took a different approach to the question. I didn’t know what it felt like to feel good but I had plenty of experience in what it felt like to feel bad. If I was feeling bad: I was tired, I was cranky, I felt fat, I was angry, I was late to everything, I was hungry, I was isolating, I didn’t feel appreciated, I didn’t feel respected, and I wasn’t confident…just to name a few. I tried to recall the very few times where I felt opposite of bad, times I was not angry, times I was confident, times I was not tired, etc.
Once I became aware of what it felt like to feel good, I began to build my with ways to ensure I wouldn’t feel bad. Knowing that every moment of every day wasn’t likely to be all good, I broke it down into two areas I could control. For the most part I can control the time I wake up in the morning, meaning I won’t be late, which means I won’t be rushing and I won’t be mad at myself. I won’t call myself stupid and wonder when I’m ever going to get it right. I can control if I have clean clothes. I can control having my clothes ready the night before so I’m not scrambling in the morning trying to find clothes for work. (This includes having a pair of matching socks…or at least two socks.) I could make sure that the kids backpacks and snacks are ready before the morning and their clothes are picked out as well. Planning and scheduling are huge in having good days. Other areas to make sure my day was “on track to start” were simple things such as making sure my phone was charged, having time in the morning to myself before anyone woke up to read my Bible, allowing myself enough time to get ready for work and eating breakfast.
These simple little things help me to feel good about and proud of myself. Feeling like my day started well because I controlled the circumstances I was able to. When I would start my day off in a good positive way, it would allow me to have a better day, feeling accomplished, and on top of things. This goes a long way in reducing anger toward myself. Then when things happened that were beyond my control, I was more equipped to deal with them. Not every day is going to be perfect but every day can get better and more manageable. I know if I stick to my routine and use my , this struggle will eventually become my normal. Feeling good will become my normal and if I’m grateful enough daily, maybe bad days won’t exist as I learn to love and manage chaos I may encounter.
Looking for More About WRAP and Feeling Good?
Check out these Great WRAP Resources!
Building Your Wellness Toolbox with Mary Ellen Copeland –
The Wellness Toolbox is used to develop action plans for all parts of WRAP from the Daily Maintenance Plan to the Post Crisis Plan. This audio program leads you through an intensive process of uncovering your personal Wellness Tools. It includes many Wellness Tools that you can put in your own toolbox if you think they would work for you.
Listen to a sample now…
WRAP for Life –
WRAP was originally developed by, and for use by, people who experience mental health issues. It is now widely used all over the world both as a preventive strategy and as a way to address all kinds of life issues, as well as mental health issues. WRAP for Life reflects the changes in use that have happened over time as people have discovered the value of this simple yet effective practice and teaches you how to adapt WRAP to all your life issues.
The WRAP Story –
“For years I heard stories about how WRAP, and the values and ethics that have evolved from it, have affected, transformed and even saved people’s lives. WRAP facilitators and administrators have reported how their agencies, mental health systems, and even their own lives, have been changed and improved by incorporating WRAP. The WRAP Story is a book of some of those stories.” – Mary Ellen Copeland
Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, developed Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) with a group of people with lived experience who were attending a mental health recovery workshop in 1997. She is the original author of the WRAP Red Book, as well as dozens of other WRAP books and materials. She has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to learning from people who have mental health issues; discovering the simple, safe, non-invasive ways they get well, stay well, and move forward in their lives; and then sharing what she has learned with others through keynote addresses, trainings, and the development of books, curriculums, and other resources. Now that she is retired, and that, as she intended, others are continuing to share what she has learned, she continues to learn from those who have mental health issues and those who support them. She is a frequent contributor to this site.