Early in my use of WRAP, it occurred to me that my therapist might want a copy so she could see my wellness tools, stressors/triggers, early warning signs, crisis plan, etc.
I’m a very private person, so I’d only shared it with my husband and my one supporter at that point. My WRAP was exact so my husband and my supporter would very clearly know what was going on with me at any given time.
My wellness was more consistent, and I was developing a deeper understanding of why my challenges would arise and how I could help myself manage them. That all helped me develop a higher level of self-esteem and, as a result, more self-confidence.
Because of that newfound confidence, there was less loneliness—less feeling like an “other.”
All these factors helped me understand my challenges were not something to feel ashamed of. It was clear that over the years I’d developed hundreds of ways to care for myself and keep myself well.
Therefore, I gave a copy to my therapist and to my doctor. My therapist immediately saw that this tool I had given her was like a road map to understanding what kinds of experiences I had and how I managed them.
At the next appointment, we worked on some traumatic and difficult emotions and memories from childhood sexual abuse. Tears fell, my emotions disconnected from the present, and we repeatedly used grounding to help me remain present.
As we neared the end of our time, she pulled out my WRAP plan. She looked through the stressors/triggers, early warning signs, and signs of when things are breaking down.
She read the descriptors in each section, looking for my current feelings. When we arrived at the section for when things are breaking down, we looked at each other and knew that was where I was. I was struggling.
What happened next was great. She said, “Let’s look at the action plan for when things are breaking down and see what steps you can take to help you feel better.”
The plan was robust and all the tools were things I could easily act upon and use. She gave me a number to call if I had a harder time, which would be a crisis. I agreed to use the number if needed and to start my action plan right away.
She said my WRAP was helpful and that it contained important information for her and for me. At home, I put my plan in action. I used my wellness tools, one after another, until calm enveloped me, my heart remained present, and my strength returned.
My wellness toolbox had many more tools than the ones I used that day. But this time, the fourth tool I used—“Read a Nancy Drew book”—did the trick. This may seem strange because of my advanced age, but Nancy Drew books are a great wellness tool for me, just as they were when I was much younger. Nancy is a strong, confident young woman who faces challenges, overcomes them, and is always successful.
She was important to me when I was young, and her stories give me confidence as an adult. A book can be read in a few hours and becomes something I’ve completed. Finishing something makes me feel good. That day there was no crisis, and since that day there hasn’t been a crisis. WRAP supports my well-being daily.
It sounds simple, but if you knew how many times despair bubbled up with similar feelings and experiences, you would see what a treasure WRAP has been in helping me maintain my well-being. The next morning, I was up doing my usual things and getting my children to school and myself to work.
If you haven’t shared your WRAP beyond your supporters, consider including a therapist or doctor on your list of people who have a copy of your WRAP, a section of it, or a mini WRAP for specific times/events.
Every step we take to expand our trust and believe in ourselves is a step closer to becoming all we are meant to be.
Lisa St. George, MSW, CPRP, CPRSS, is a Certified WRAP Facilitator