by Deb Colvin
My name is Deborah Colvin and I have suffered from depression, alcoholism, cocaine addiction, homelessness, and domestic violence. I never ever thought I could ever overcome these barriers in my life. Then one day a friend encouraged me to buy a book, that I could not afford. By chance I found an old copy in a used book store for $2.00. That book was ” The Depression Workbook” , by Mary Ellen Copeland. I spent one hour a day on the book and it’s suggestions. I highlighted and book marked for easy reference.
I started to realize that I could change my life by changing my negative thinking. That different things in the environment could trigger my behavior and moods. Taking care of myself became my job. I took stock and became more aware of myself. I started to chart my eating habits, my schedule, and took a close look at the stresses in my life. Slowly I started to become stronger and more assertive of my needs. I finally conquered my fears and moved to the Kent area.
I felt I could try to go back to work. Life started to have some real possibilities. I applied for DVR services through Sound Mental Health. It was at this point I met David Perry and Beth Calvo. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew I wanted to help people but how? I started to do some writings in an effort to discover what I had to offer others.
Beth Calvo sponsored a WRAP workshop and I was invited to attend. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Mary Ellen Copeland was the Author of the WRAP. I was so excited I went home and wrote up my thoughts. I shared my thoughts with my Voc group. I was offered a Volunteer internship with Sound Mental Health as a Job Coach.
My WRAP is important to me it is my reminder. My reminder that I am a viable and unique individual and that there is nothing wrong with being ME. It also reminds me that I am human and that I don’t have to be perfect.
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.