WRAP is not just a time period in your life, it is a lifestyle. Once you have been through a WRAP program, or the process of developing a Wellness Recovery Action Plan using Peer Support, your lifestyle will change and you may find that you are feeling healthier and happier.
As you keep using WRAP, as much as you want to stick to your plans, and keep up with your relationships with your Peer Supporters, you may find that it is not always easy, that “life” gets in the way. What can keep you from using your WRAP or from using it as intensively as you know would work for you? Responses to this question from people who are working to live WRAP include:
- Convincing yourself or justifying that you don’t have to or need to do the things in your WRAP
- Getting distracted by other things like email, video games, family issues, and household tasks
- Have a hard time “getting around to” doing the things that are “good for you”
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling like other things are more important than taking care of yourself
- Feeling like you are “not worth it”
- Feeling like other people’s needs are more important than yours
Sally feels that the way she sees herself in the world and beliefs about herself get in the way of using her WRAP, things like not valuing herself and telling herself things like “I am not worth it, I don’t deserve it, I am not a valuable person, and I don’t deserve to be alive.” She says that she finds herself thinking that WRAP is not going to work anyway, none of this is going to help, and she’s not worth it. This is where Peer Support comes in. Sometimes the negative things we believe about ourselves are hard to change. Sally wishes she felt that she was OK with whoever she is. She believes that this change can happen in a relationship, that a really strong connection with another person, the kinds of connections you have in Peer Support, can do it.
You and your peers will discover many things that keep you from using WRAP and Peer Support. However, there are many strategies that others have used, strategies that work successfully, so that you can learn together and move forward in your lives. Some of the many options of things you can do to support Living WRAP are described in this chapter. There is not significance to the order. Use the strategies that work for you. You and your peer supporters may discover others.
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.